The Impact of Olympics on Revenue and Market Share

May 19, 2021 4:00:00 PM / by Mark Bretsch

With the Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, we wanted to share data and observations from our client stations. The data presented represents an analysis of Summer Olympics and the revenue impact to NBC and non-NBC stations, based on ShareBuilders data from 2002-2020.

NBC Stations

It is obvious that NBC stations would improve their overall revenue picture in Q3 of Olympic years. The question is degree of improvement. Our analysis shows that Local revenue increased by an average of 16.6% while National revenue increased by an average of 24.5%. These improvements are compared to non-Olympic years. When it comes to revenue market shares, the Q3 increases are similar. Local revenue share increased by an average of 2.86%, while National revenue share increased by an average of 3.16%.

Non-NBC Stations

This is where it gets interesting. Surprisingly, almost all other networks experienced revenue increases both Locally and Nationally for Q3 in Olympic years compared to non-Olympic years. CBS stations were the only ones that experienced a decrease in revenue. Part of the explanation can be the percentage of incremental revenue experienced by NBC stations allowed core business to place elsewhere. Unwired network buys could be a determining factor here.

But the analysis shows what you would expect when it comes to market revenue shares, as outlined in the chart below:

Network/Revenue Category Share Change

Network/Revenue Category Share Change
FOX National -0.14%
FOX Local -0.54%
CW National -0.10%
CW Local +0.13%
CBS National -1.45%
CBS Local -1.29%
ABC National -0.49%
ABC Local -0.30%


When it comes to Q3 market revenue shares, our data shows that CBS stations fare the worst while CW stations do the best. It will be interesting to see if this data will reflect what actually happens with this year’s Olympics.

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Mark Bretsch

Written by Mark Bretsch

Director of Consultants at ShareBuilders