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How Tokyo played out on YouTube

  • By The YouTube Team
  • Aug.12.2021
5,000 hours of uploaded content and more than 190 million daily average views

YouTube brought all the action from Tokyo directly to you, the fan, no matter how, where, or when you planned on watching. 

During Tokyo 2020, YouTube viewers watched over 200 million hours of Olympic Games content on YouTube... 7x the amount of hours watched on YouTube during Rio 2016.”

We worked with broadcasters around the world to deliver the most comprehensive viewing experience, including live streams of opening and closing ceremonies, clips of memorable moments, highlights of all the action across the 33 Olympic sports, and athlete content straight from Tokyo. You responded in a huge way: 

During Tokyo 20201, YouTube viewers watched over 200 million hours of Olympic Games content (counting historic Olympic Games and Tokyo) on YouTube. That’s seven times the amount of hours of Olympic Games content watched on YouTube during Rio 20162. We also saw that Games content was viewed more than 190 million times per day during Tokyo, five times more than the average daily views of Olympic Games content on YouTube during Rio 2016.  

From beginning to end, YouTube remained an important place for fans to find community and catch up on the incredible sporting moments. In just two weeks, the Olympic YouTube Channel alone grew from 6 million subscribers to 7.9 million subscribers. 


Who can forget standout moments like:

  • Indian athlete Neeraj Chopra winning gold in the Javelin: He was India’s first-ever track and field athlete to win an Olympic gold and he learned how to throw using YouTube! In an incredible story, Chopra never had a coach growing up, and entered the sport by a quirk of fate.

  • The shared gold medal: In a dramatic end to the Olympic high jump final, Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi sharing the gold medal after each jumped 2.37m.

  • Simone Biles: Her brave decision to withdraw from competition over mental health concerns sparked a worldwide dialogue.

Olympians and creators also provided daily diaries of life at the games

  • British Gold Medal Diver Tom Daley (1.13M subscribers) surpassed 4.3 million views with his #DaleyDiaries - giving his fans a behind-the-scenes tour of the full Olympic journey with exclusive access to the Olympic Village.
  • Daley’s good friend Rommel Pacheco had a total of 1M views during the Games including training and how-to content, with 14% of his traffic coming from Shorts.  
  • McKayla Skinner from the USA Gymnastics team gave an honest, intimate look into the stresses and strains of competing in the Olympic Games. 

And on YouTube TV in the U.S., we introduced new, innovative features that helped our members connect more deeply with their favorite sports across the networks of NBCUniversal—from comprehensive search and DVR capabilities letting you catch all the events you wanted to watch, to our new 4K Plus add-on package that delivered the Games in crisp, high-quality resolution. We even introduced a medal counter to see how each country was stacking up.

We hope you enjoyed the Games on YouTube and thanks for tuning in!



1  July 21 - August 8, 2021

 August 3 - August 21, 2016