Wednesday July 20th, 2016

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NBC and BuzzFeed will be working closely together to help bring coverage of Rio 2016 to a younger audience via Snapchat. Their partnership was announced in late April, but now the Olympics—and NBC’s Snapchat coverage of it—are just a little more than two weeks away.

NBC invested $200 million in BuzzFeed last year, and since then the New York-based Internet media company has helped NBC produce a lot of their social media content, especially on Snapchat. Their Olympic partnership will include daily Live Stories as well as an NBC Rio Discover channel.

The Live Stories allow Snapchat users to provide video and picture coverage to help create one massive story, which BuzzFeed’s team will help curate. Snapchat users in the United States will be able to enjoy a lot of behind-the-scenes footage that won’t make it to NBC’s television coverage.

BuzzFeed will use a 12-person team of video producers to help publish as many at 20 different pieces of content every day throughout the roughly 16-day event. Their team will be live in Rio during the Olympics, which will allow them to provide access to athletes and events.

The NBC Rio Discover channel will feature a wide range of coverage starting a day before the Opening Ceremony and ending a day after the Closing Ceremony. Their content will be branded with NBC Rio Olympics logos and trademarks.

The live stories and Discover channel will help engage Snapchat’s younger users with their vivid behind-the-scenes and point-of-view coverage of the Olympic events, as well as the city of Rio de Janeiro. The primary goal of the Discover channel will be to help drive the audience to NBC’s television and live streaming coverage.

We dove into what NBC’s massive broadcast television and live streaming coverage of Rio 2016 would look like last month. The network will have more digital coverage of the Olympics than ever before.

NBC is hoping that BuzzFeed and others can help them generate as much engagement as possible on the social media side. Along with BuzzFeed’s Snapchat help, NBC also enlisted the help of some social media stars such as Flula Borg, in order to attract a younger audience.

The 2012 Summer Olympics in London set digital records for NBC live streaming coverage and website visits: nearly 2 billion page views and 159 million video streams.

The Olympics have historically skewed older in terms of television viewership. But according to NBC, their younger audience—under 34-years-old—increased a lot from Beijing in 2008 to London. Almost 85% of Snapchat’s users are under the age of 34.

Live Stories and Discover channels for events such as the Super Bowl have been very successful in terms of viewership numbers and audience engagement. The Snapchat coverage of Rio 2016 will without a doubt help younger viewers experience the Olympics like never before. It will also certainly help drive some of them to NBC’s broadcast coverage. But even if it doesn’t help on that front, their commitment to digital coverage is necessary.

The broadcast company that has been synonymous with the Olympics for almost two decades is hoping their commitment to the future pays off now.

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