Tokyo Olympic streaming numbers double figures from Rio 2016: Akamai

Average peak traffic for the full event in Tokyo was 8.3Tbps compared with 3Tbps for the full event in Rio, Akamai found.

Akamai has released some streaming numbers related to the Tokyo Olympics that ended on August 8, finding that the latest games far outpaced the interest seen in 2016 with the Rio Olympics.

In a blog post, Cory Sakakeeny, principal lead technical project manager at Akamai, wrote that the last full day of competition in Tokyo -- featuring 35 different medal events -- had the highest video streaming traffic for more than 30 customers the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform. 

"Medal matches for baseball, basketball, and soccer, along with several track and field finals, drove related traffic to 10Tbps on Saturday, August 7. That's more than double the 4.5Tbps peak Akamai observed during the games in Rio in 2016," Sakakeeny said. 

"Average peak traffic for the full event in Tokyo was 8.3Tbps compared with 3Tbps for the full event in Rio. In total, Akamai streamed 500 million hours of video from Tokyo for our customers. That's more than double the 234 million hours of video delivered from Rio."

Even though much of the world is reopening as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, the recent rise in numbers due to the Delta variant has left millions of people back spending significant amounts of time at home in front of the TV. 

Sakakeeny noted that last month's wildly popular UEFA European Championship hit a traffic peak of 35Tbps on Akamai and averaged 17.5Tbps across every match. He explained that the peaks were higher for the soccer tournament because it was appointment viewing at specific times for shorter periods instead of Olympic competitions, which take place over many hours across multiple days. 

Even though the peak for the soccer tournament was larger than the Olympics, the number of total streaming hours from Europe was less than 1.2 times the 500 million hours from the Tokyo Olympics. 

Akamai said it is already preparing for the Winter Olympics in Beijing and the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.