Global Champions, Homegrown Heroes -- US Olympic Athletes Spur Local Television Viewing -- TVB

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Strength. Courage. Hard Work. These essential ingredients of Olympic glory mirror our own American character and inspire us to watch and revere the young talent that represents our nation. The Olympics have always been a major viewing event, attracting best-in-class marketers to support Team USA. But although this may be a moment for our national pride on a global stage, Team USA is first and foremostStacey+Schulman an amalgamation of local talent.

We often forget that the national audience is built from hundreds of local communities who watch for the chance to see their homegrown heroes become global champions – and it is these local fans who are driving Olympic enthusiasm. A look at the metered market delivery through the duration of Olympic coverage confirms the power of local affinity.

TVB mapped TEAM USA’s hometowns across America and aligned them with local television markets to uncover the power of local relevance. We then monitored the primetime audience delivery for each market by night. Across the Nielsen metered and local people-meter markets, 33 out of 56 boast a hometown athlete in this year’s Olympic Games. To keep the analysis fair, only those markets with athletes competing in primetime coverage were considered a “hometown market” for each night’s analysis.

The appeal of the Olympics is phenomenal, with metered markets outpacing regular season audience levels by 174%. When we add the layer of local relevance, however, we see even greater gains. Hometown markets saw household ratings increase by as much as +389% on some nights of coverage across the Olympic duration.

Hometown athletes who brought home Olympic medals also attracted great viewership from their friends and neighbors. Several key markets shined throughout Olympic coverage:

As American athletes rise to the occasion, and the medal platform, hometown fans are providing record-breaking support, making Local Broadcast Television an exceptional media platform to engage with fans when they are the most passionate. No matter how America fares in the medal count at the end of these Olympic Winter Games, our local market TV stations will all be winners.


Stacey Lynn Schulman is Chief Research Officer at TVB, where she is responsible for drivingStacey Lynn Schulman insights and media research thought-leadership about the value of Local Broadcast Television across platforms. Stacey can be reached at

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