Almost one third of Americans (31 percent) would like to watch the Olympics on Netflix if it were available, a new study conducted for Snell Advanced Media (SAM) said Tuesday.

Still, more than half of Americans (56 percent) will watch at home via their live cable or satellite TV this year.

As a result of this openness to new technology platforms, SAM is advocating broadcasters begin to leverage new technologies and formats such as 4K and HDR content to capture greater viewership of major events like the Olympic games.

Read more on the 4K Olympics survey findings after the jump:

SAM is a company formed through the fusion of Quantel and Snell to deliver new business and technology solutions for the media production ecosystem, targeting broadcasters, content owners and service providers.

The study, which was conducted with third-party research firm YouGov, also found that more than 28 million Americans (19 percent) will watch more than 10 hours of Olympics coverage this year. Nearly 45 percent of respondents said they wanted to watch a championship or final sports game live; almost double that of those likely to watch an awards show live (25 percent), the report said.

However, nearly half of Americans (48 percent) are unsure of how much Olympics coverage they will watch this year, indicating NBC and its affiliates must do more to promote long-term viewing, according to SAM.

Among cord-cutters, more options are sought for Olympics coverage via over-the-top streaming outlets, the study found. Snell is advocating Olympic broadcasters consider expanding the availability of 4K Olympics coverage to these services.

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In addition to Netflix the following streaming services were also cited as desirable outlets to view the Olympics:

  • Amazon — 17 percent.
  • A dedicated streaming channel on a platform like Apple TV or Roku — 15 percent.
  • Hulu — 13 percent.
  • HBOGo — 10 percent.

Among the top five Olympic events Americans with Ultra HDTVs would like to watch in 4K include:

  • Opening ceremony – 46 percent.
  • Gymnastics – 38 percent.
  • Closing ceremony – 38 percent.
  • Swimming – 33 percent.
  • Track & Field – 23 percent.

“For a long time it seemed Americans wouldn’t have access to any 4K content during this year’s summer games,” said Neil Maycock, SAM media software solutions executive VP & GM. “However, NBC was able to work up a solution and will now be offering select events in Ultra High Definition. With such a global stage and all eyes towards American broadcasters at one point, showing viewers and the rest of the world that we’re ready to play in such a sophisticated format is the right move. With 4K during the Olympics, they are capturing viewer’s attention and paving the way towards taking the next step in navigating this new media landscape all over the world.”

In assembling its research data YouGov used a total sample size of 1,146 adults polled online between June 2-3, 2016. Figures were weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+), SAM’s methodology stated.

Diffusion PR, which announced the study findings for SAM, arrived at the 28 million adults figure based on the 18+ population of the U.S. multiplied by the proportion of respondents who plan to watch more than 10 hours of the 2016 Olympics, the company said.

By Greg Tarr


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