The numbers are now in, and it is clear that while viewers to conventional broadcast channels enjoyed the Rio Olympics, it was digital viewers, whether on ‘red button’- type options, or simply viewing via second screens was the champion.

NBC, which paid a massive $1.23 billion for its TV and digital rights, reported that some 2.25 billion web-streams were supplied via its dedicated – and multi-option – website.  NBC probably got value for money despite its TV viewing numbers being the lowest since the 2004 Games in Athens, when the time difference between Eastern Europe and the US was much more severe.

Nielsen data shows an 18 percent decline on this year’s game compared to London. Nielsen says the Rio event averaged 25.4 million viewers over 17 nights, while Athens achieved 24.9 million per night average.

But factor in the 2.7 billion ‘live transmission’ minutes downloaded onto various second screen devices, and then add in the various replayed minutes and highlights and the total balloons to 3.3 billion minutes spread over 100 million unique users, a 29 per cent uplift on London.

IOC president Thomas Bach said: “Today, most (broadcasters) have their own digital platforms and we see that they’re using these to bring the public to their traditional channels. Digital feeds traditional TV and vice versa,” he said.