NBC is using Netflix to advertise the 2018 Winter Olympics

US Alpine skiier Lindsey Vonn is one of the Olympians profiled.
US Alpine skiier Lindsey Vonn is one of the Olympians profiled.
Image: Reuters/Dominic Ebenbichler
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Netflix is a lot of things, but it’s usually not a place for television networks to advertise their programming.

TV network NBC released on Netflix this week a two-part special, 2018 Olympic Winter Games Preview, which profiles the Olympians to look out for and the stories to watch during its TV broadcast of the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea next month. The special, which was produced by NBC and licensed to Netflix, also highlights some of the athletes competing for Team USA like snowboarder Shaun White and alpine skier Lindsey Vonn. It’s available in the US through Feb. 25, when the closing ceremony will be held, Deadline reported.

The half-hour previews allow NBC to promote its coverage of the games among audiences who don’t watch a lot of regular TV. Aside from its free, over-the-air coverage, NBC plans to live-stream more than 1,800 hours of Olympics coverage, which will be available to anyone with a pay-TV subscription.

Netflix says it’s helped other traditional TV shows grow their live audiences, and NBC may be testing that theory with the Olympics. New seasons of shows like Riverdale, for example, hit Netflix in the US after they concluded live on TV. That helped Riverdale grow its audience 400% from its first to the second season on its network home, the CW, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said on the company’s October earnings call. The second season of Riverdale is currently averaging about 54% more live-and-same-day viewers than the first season, based on Nielsen data published by TV Series Finale.

Update (2:45pm ET): This post was updated to clarify that the special was produced by NBC.