Aside from the Super Bowl, few television stages command as much attention as NBC’s broadcast of the Summer Olympics.
It’s the sort of broadly appealing, captivating live event that was supposed to remain intact even as traditional television eroded around it, or so popular belief in the advertising industry held.
So it came as a rude surprise when NBC’s ratings clocked in much lower than expected last week — their first dip since the 2000 Games.
“Generally speaking, you’re always a little disappointed when it doesn’t meet previous expectations,” said Adam Schwartz, director of national broadcast and sports media at media-buying agency Horizon. …