UPDATE, 12:05 PM: NBC added weekend stats to its Olympics-fueled evening-news ratings victory lap. Nearly 16 million viewers tuned in to NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams on Sunday; 11 million tuned in on Saturday as Williams anchored live from Olympic Park in Sochi, Russia. In the news demo, the broadcast clocked a 2.8 rating Saturday and a 4.2 rating Sunday. Sunday’s crowd of nearly 16 million is 10% better than the newscast fared on the first Sunday of the 2012 London Summer Games, and 14% better than first Sunday of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. In the news demo, NBC noted Sunday’s newscast came in 8% better than that first Sunday at the Vancouver Games, suggesting it falls shy of the demo ratings for the comparable Sunday of the London Games.
Saturday’s total viewer tally was the evening newscast’s best since the first Saturday of the London Games, but best in the news demo since the second Saturday newscast of those London Olympics.
PREVIOUS, 11:35 AM: About 29 million people watched broadcast evening newscasts last week. That’s the biggest broadcast evening news haul in more than 9 years — since the week of January 17, 2005, aka the week of George W Bush’s second inauguration.
Sochi Olympics broadcaster NBC, not surprisingly, clocked nearly 11 million of those viewers — about 1.5 million ahead of ABC’s 9.5 million and 2.5 million ahead of CBS’ 8.5 million. NBC Nightly News started the week with severe weather and later moved to Brian Williams anchoring from Sochi, Russia, including a report on an attempt to hijack a plane bound for Turkey and divert it to Sochi, by a passenger claiming to have a bomb. But ABC and CBS’ evening newscasts also performed well: CBS Evening News marked its biggest crowd since Katie Couric debuted as anchor in September 2006.
Four years ago, during the comparable week of Winter Games walking up, NBC’s lead over ABC’s was a slightly larger 1.8 million viewers. But, NBC’s newscast beat ABC’s by more than 1 million viewers every night of last week, including an advantage of 2.3 million total viewers on Friday, the night of the Opening Ceremony. In the news demo, NBC’s evening newscast bested ABC’s by 188,000 viewers last week; four year ago during the comparable week, NBC lead by 663,000 news demo viewers. That said, last week marked NBC’s biggest demo audience since the first full week of London Summer Games in July of ’12.