Bolstered by Rio Olympics, NBC Sports Digital Enjoys Biggest Year to Date
NBC Sports Digital posted its best year ever in 2016, according to the media giant. The year was highlighted by 15,000 hours of streaming coverage of more than 10,000 events, including the biggest digital media event in history – the 2016 Rio Olympic Games; setting a new sports category record by reaching 110 million uniques in August; launching new products such as end-to-end technology service Playmaker Media and direct-to-consumer streaming service NBC Sports Gold; and acquiring youth sports transactional business SportsEngine.
Additional highlights from the year included:
NBC Olympics: Rio News & Results app: Leading up to and during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, the NBC Olympics: Rio News & Results app provided fans with the latest Olympic news and results, extensive video highlights, TV listings, medal standings, dedicated sections for all 34 sports on the Rio program, and Team USA and international athlete bios.
Gold Map: NBC Olympics, the United States Olympic Committee, and the U.S. summer sport national governing bodies (NGBs) launched Gold Map to promote youth participation in Olympic summer sports by leveraging the excitement that was generated in the lead-up to and during the Rio Olympics. Gold Map led young viewers on a journey that began on their television sets and ended with their participation in an Olympic sport in their local area. The site delivered nearly 2 million page views from its launch through the Games, up 757% from the Sochi Olympics (220,000).
Playmaker Media: NBC Sports Digital launched a new technology service, Playmaker Media, to provide end-to-end support for companies in need of best-in-class live streaming and VOD solutions. Playmaker Media utilizes the experience and expertise that NBC Sports Digital has developed in its 10-plus years of live streaming some of the most-high profile events in sports.
NBC Sports Gold: NBC Sports Digital re-branded its premium cycling app from NBC Sports Tour de France Live to NBC Sports Gold. The re-branded app provides live streaming coverage plus shoulder programming for the Tour de France and more than 15 major races during the cycling season. Since its launch, NBC Sports Gold has become one of the fastest growing ‘Direct-to-Consumer’ live streaming sports apps in the United States. It will add additional sports in 2017.
The NBC Sports App on Connected TVs: This year, the NBC Sports app widened its Connected TV distribution and became available satellite and telco subscribers with select Samsung devices, as well as on Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Roku, Win10, and Xbox. Users with these devices joined Apple TV, Roku, Apple iOS and Android users in receiving access to the vast portfolio of premier sports events streamed on the NBC Sports app.
NBC SPORTS SCORES app: Built off the NBC Olympics: Rio News & Results app, NBC Sports Digital launched the NBC SPORTS SCORES app after Rio. It’s a personalized sports guide that delivers the most up-to-date scores, notifies fans of important upcoming events or moments in sports, and contains on-demand news and information from more than 25 leagues.
ProFootballTalk: In June, NBC Sports Digital extended its multi-platform partnership with ProFootballTalk, the innovative, NFL-focused football website created by Mike Florio. As part of the new long-term extension, ProFootballTalk increased video content, with Florio providing daily, short- form video reports to supplement PFT’s extensive written coverage on breaking NFL news. As a result, ProFootballTalk is approaching 10 million video starts during the course of the current NFL season.
NBC Sports Digital Shorts: NBC Sports Digital Shorts – NBC Sports Digital’s initiative focused on producing short-form original digital content – launched two new series this year, Ever Wonder? and Sports…The Musical, on NBCSports.com and across other NBC Sports Digital platforms. The videos racked up more than 30 million views all platforms (NBCSports.com, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram) in 2016.
SportsEngine: NBC Sports Group acquired Sport Ngin, an industry leading sports technology platform in the youth and amateur sports participation market, in 2016. The company was re-branded as SportsEngine after the acquisition. Featuring a customer base of more than seven million active users, SportsEngine’s suite of products help thousands of youth sports organizations improve the management of their operations and provide several valuable services for their athletes, parents, coaches, volunteers, and fans.
NBC Sports Ventures & Whistle Sports: Whistle Sports, a leading digital sports media content company and community focused on serving millennial fans globally, announced a Series C this year, with funding from NBC Sports Ventures, TEGNA Inc., Sky and Emil Capital this year. Whistle Sports brings together 400 of the world’s most engaging digital and social media sports stars and creates compelling cross-platform content with them that is actively shared and supported by a community of fans and followers.