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The final Olympics tally: Seven reaches nearly three million through digital platforms

Sources: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, August 2016 n = 880 Australians 14+

The medals have been tallied, and so have the total audiences across television, website and app, social media, and YouTube. New cross-platform audience research from Roy Morgan shows three in four Australians aged 14+ tuned in to watch the 2016 Rio Olympics – including 2.9 million across Seven’s new digital platforms.

Special nationwide research undertaken during the event found Olympics broadcasting reached a total 14,778,000 Australians aged 14+ (ie. not counting viewing among the 4.2 million 0-13 year-olds).

For the first time, Seven’s Olympics coverage spanned four TV channels, a purpose-built website and app, social media and a YouTube channel. Seven reached 14 million Olympics viewers 14+, including 13.2 million who tuned in to TV coverage on channels 7, 7HD, 7TWO and 7MATE.

But although TV still delivered for 94% of Seven’s overall audience, the investment in digital channels clearly paid off by increasing engagement among many viewers. Seven’s Digital platforms found a combined audience of over 2.9 million people: 1,735,000 streamed coverage directly through the Olympics on 7 website or app (with 1,243,000 and 829,000 users respectively), and 1,571,000 engaged with Seven’s Olympics content through its social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Furthermore, over 1.4 million Aussies caught up on some Olympics highlights via YouTube, including the 7Olympics channel.

Number of Australians 14+ who Watched 2016 Rio Olympics

Sources: Roy Morgan Single Source Australia, August 2016 n = 880 Australians 14+

Michele Levine, CEO – Roy Morgan Research, says:

“This is the first Olympic Games operating in a truly multiplatform environment. But all the noise around clicks, streams and views overlooks measuring just how many people used one or several platforms to watch the events, and therefore how many people tuned in. 

“Roy Morgan Single Source has for years measured audiences across platforms to deliver true de-duplicated total Audiences. This latest research shows that 95% of Olympics viewers watched content through the Australian broadcast rights holder, Network Seven – and 94% of Seven’s audience viewed the event on traditional broadcast TV.

“The digital platforms added many different ways for Australians to engage with the Olympics. Not only did Digital extend Seven’s TV audience by an additional 821,000 Australians 14 and over, but 2.1 million TV viewers (16% of them) boosted their engagement with Seven’s Olympics content via web, app, and social media.

“The next step in this cross platform research is our new digital audience system Roy Morgan Audiences. This brings together Single Source and Helix Personas data with a panel of over 19 million internet connected devices. The scale of the panel provides a means for broadcasters and advertisers to measure and profile all their cross-platform digital activity to determine true multi-media reach of their valuable content.”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%