Blog Post

By the numbers: How the Olympics helped to take multi-screen mainstream

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Comcast (s CMCSK) released an astonishing piece of data this week: The average Xfinity customer who viewed live streams of the the games online authenticated 2.4 devices. It’s worth noting that this is in addition to millions of TV screens used to watch the London games; those 2.4 devices are just mobile phones, tablets and PCs. In other words: Millions of people used not one or two, but three to four screens to watch the Olympics!

That truly makes the 2012 London games the first multi-screen Olympics. It’s also the first time the sporting event has been massively embraced by mobile device users. Sure, the vast majority of viewing still happens on the TV, and for streaming, the PC still reigns supreme. 68 percent of Olympics streams were viewed on PCs, according to Comcast, but that also means that 32 percent were streamed to mobile devices.

Those Comcast numbers are echoed by results from other companies:

  • NBC said earlier this week that 37 percent of its live streams were watched in the company’s iOS or Android apps.
  • A third of the BBC’s Olympic web coverage views came from mobile phones.
  • 60 percent of all visits to the official website of the Olympic games (including access through mobile apps) came from mobile devices.
  • 485 million viewers followed the Olympic coverage of Chinese state broadcaster CNTV via PCs, mobile and connected devices.
  • And some of the smaller players in the space profited from the move to mobile devices as well: Second screen app maker ConnecTV told us that the company’s user base grew by 87.5 percent as the result of the games. ConnecTV, whose app had former gold medal winners provide live commentary while the games unfolded on TV, also saw a 93.8% increase in chat messages and a 99% increase in unique logins during the games.

Image courtesy of (CC-BY-SA) (s CC-BY-SA) Flickr user davehighbury.