The sport of track and field hit historic broadcasting and social media marks as NBC’s coverage of the adidas Grand Prix June 9 reached the highest ratings of any non-Olympic or Olympic Trials track and field event since 2005 and Tyson Gay became the top Twitter trend in the country during his first competition in nearly a year.
Television coverage for the adidas Grand Prix showed a rating of 1.3 with a 4 share, which translates into just under 1.8 million viewers. It was a 41 percent increase over the event from 2011. Specific numbers covering the ratings of the last five years of the adidas/Reebok Grand Prix are shown below.
TV Ratings – adidas/Reebok Grand Prix
2008 – 0.7/2 (CBS)
2009 – 1.0/2 (NBC)
2010 – 0.9/2 (NBC)
2011 – 0.9/2 (NBC)
2012 – 1.3/4 (NBC)
NBC broke away from its earlier coverage to feature American record holder Tyson Gay race the 100-meters live. During that time Gay became the top trend on Twitter in the U.S. as he made his first appearance since June 2011 and continues his return from hip surgery.
Combining TV ratings from the adidas Grand Prix, the Prefontaine Classic and Penn Relays from earlier in the season, the numbers showed a 30 percent increase in overall viewership for the three events from 2011.
The high numbers lead into the start of the Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field as NBC will feature a total of 12 hours of live coverage. A full TV schedule for the Olympic Trials, which are scheduled for June 21-July 1 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., can be found here.