Published: Fri, February 16, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Olympic Overnight Ratings Down a Tick from Sochi

Olympic Overnight Ratings Down a Tick from Sochi

While that's down about 6 percent from the winter games four years ago in Sochi, Russia, it means the network is meeting its guarantee to advertisers and won't have to give away costly make-goods, a problem that hurt the telecast of the Summer Olympics two years ago in Rio de Janeiro.

The total includes cable and digital audiences that were not counted in the network's average in 2014, meaning the drop in viewership might have been steeper if those numbers were taken out. The sophomore series is up 23% in total viewers over the comparable point in its first season thanks in large part to the special episode that aired after the Super Bowl, which grabbed some 27 million viewers.

Last night's XXIII Winter Olympics on NBC were a bit of the best of times and the worst of times, as Charles Dickens once said.

Mindful of how the proliferation of television viewing options has diminished TV ratings across the board, the network guaranteed an audience for Pyeongchang that is smaller than what it promised in 2014.

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Add in people who watched NBCSN's coverage at the same time, or streamed NBC's broadcast online, and the number climbs to 25.7 million. With an average of 9.569 million viewers for the season in "most current" results from Nielsen Media Research, including fast-official results for February 9-11, the Peacock is No. 1. But NBC made what it promised so "we can put [some advertising] back in the marketplace", Lazarus said.

That comes with an asterisk: It's not measured against weeks that included Super Bowls and a full seven nights of Olympics, NBC said Tuesday. Viewers have watched more Olympic coverage on digital devices in the first five days of the Pyeongchang Games than in the entire Sochi Games.

Sunday's coverage of the Games on NBC and NBC Sports drew a combined 16.5 rating in Nielsen's metered market households, airing partially on tape delay in primetime on the East Coast with an encore on the West Coast.

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