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>> From Michael Phelps to Simone Biles to Katie Ladecky, American athletes are bringing home the Olympic gold in grand fashion. But that isn't turning into a ratings bonanza for NBC.>> I'm outside of NBC TV studios in New York City. With the first full week of the Olympic Games in Rio wrapping up, total viewership across the NBC TV networks down about 9% compared to where it was in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Now that is a bit perplexing given the fact that the time zone is more friendly for Americans to watch the Games live.>>
>> But it's not just an American problem. Other broadcasters around the world are grappling with lower numbers. So why are fewer people tuning in to the world's biggest sports event?
Technology may be to blame for one thing. Twitter has turned everyone into a virtual sports commentator. You don't have to turn on your TV to find out who wins, just go on Twitter, and you can find the results in seconds. Experts point out that NBC and other news outlets may also bear some of the blame.
They all send out live alerts to mobile devices with results from major events. And if those scores aren't enough, why wait to watch the repeat performance in prime time if you can watch it live on the NBC Sports app? That, however, comes with its own problem. The streaming service has commercials and sources say that's turning people off.
But that could create a money making opportunity for NBC in the future. It's going to have to recoup the $12 billion it paid to broadcast the Olympics through 2032 somehow with traditional TV viewership down and streaming on the rise. It could start charging a few bucks for an Olympics streaming subscription that's ad free.