NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams delivered four of the top six non-Olympics weekday programs on TV during the second week of the Sochi games on the network. NBC’s newscast won the evening news derby by a healthy margin in overall audience — 10.4 million viewers to ABC World News With Diane Sawyer‘s 8.012 million and CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley‘s 7.13 million. Williams also led in the news demo with 2.6 million demo viewers, to ABC’s 2.2 million and CBS’s 1.8 million. Nightly topped the comparable week of three out of the past four Olympics in overall audience and, NBC noted, is drawing its biggest crowd in eight years and best total-viewer edge over ABC in 13 years, season to date. Monday through Thursday’s broadcasts – anchored by Brian Williams live from Sochi – ranked as four of the Top 6 non-Olympics weekday programs across television (broadcast and cable). Monday’s broadcast — which included Williams’ interview with Jimmy Fallon, who was making his Tonight show hosting debut that night — averaged 11.325 million total viewers, ranking it ahead of all non-Olympics weekday primetime programs across television.
In the news demo, for the two weeks of the Sochi Olympics, Nightly News delivered 2.9 million demo viewers, which was its smallest delivery during an Olympics since 1991). And, ABC claimed the demo gold on Friday, when its newscast beat NBC’s by 31,000 demo viewers (1.960 million vs. 1.929 million, respectively) marking the first time it has won that derby during a Winter Olympics since Torino in 2006. For the week, ABC also noted, its newscast cut its margin behind NBC’s by 60% in the demo ( 398,000 vs. 1.000 million) and 21% in overall audience ( 2.386 million vs. 3.007 million) compared to the second week of the Vancouver Olympics.
ABC’s newscast also sliced the gap with Williams’ by 50% in the demo (398,000 vs. 790,000) and 14% in overall audience (2.386 million vs. 2.770 million) compared to the first week of Sochi competition. For the full two weeks of the Sochi Olympics, World News trailed Nightly News by 594,000 demo viewers, which was the smallest gap for a Winter Olympics since Torino in 2006 — when the gap was a mere 139,000.