UPDATE 1:50 PM: The results are in for NBC‘s primetime coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics last night. The tape-delayed 8-11:02 PM broadcast of the first Monday of the Sochi Games averaged a 12.8/20 national household rating and 22.4 million viewers. That’s down 10% from the 14.2/22 ratings for the almost-live coverage from Vancouver on the comparable day in 2010 (on the Presidents Day holiday) and an 11% drop from the 25.2 million viewers.
Based on the first few nights of the Games, a trend seems to be emerging: In the context of comparing the past two Winter Olympics, the gold goes to Vancouver. However, Monday night’s Sochi ratings and viewership were even with the 12.8/20 results NBC saw for the first Monday of Torino and up 6% in viewership with 21.1 million who watched on the same night eight years ago. Still, the 6.4 rating in adults 18-49 and viewership totals last night gave NBC the strongest primetime performance ever by any network against its rivals on a Monday. The network beat the combined totals of CBS, ABC and Fox by 35% in 18-49 and by 27% in viewers.
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PREVIOUS, 8:39 AM: The first Monday of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games saw NBC‘s primetime Olympics coverage focus on crowd favorites like skating and skiing and gearing up for superstar Shaun White’s Halfpipe competition tonight. It also was the first night that the Games faced original programming on all the other networks. In preliminary fast nationals, last night’s coverage drew a 6.4/17 and 22.16 million viewers, down 11% from the 7.2/18 early fast nationals rating and down 13% from the 25.49 million the first Monday of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics received (on February 15 that year). Of course, NBC easily took the top spot on the ratings and viewership podium last night. ABC was second with a 1.9/5 and 6.29 million viewers.
Two of the big stories out of last night’s Olympics coverage were the gold and bronze men’s 500m speed skating wins by twins Michel and Ronald Mulder of the Netherlands, and Canadian moguls skier Alex Bilodeau claiming his second consecutive Olympic gold — a first for the Games in freestyle skiing.
To throw a few more numbers at you: The first Monday of the Vancouver Games garnered a 14.2/22 national household rating and 25.2 million viewers in final numbers. The first Monday of the Torino 2006 Winter Games got a 12.8/19 national household rating (11% less than the comparable night in 2010) and 21.1 million viewers. We’ll update with final numbers for last night when they come in.
On the other networks, there was a range of repeats and original offerings. Fox had the most on the schedule with a new Almost Human (1.5/4) and The Following (1.7/4) which were down 21% and 11%, respectively, from last week. With the Olympics hit, last night’s result was a series low for Following. ABC’s The Bachelor pulled a 2.3/6 for its two-hour episode, a 12% fall for the reality show and tying a season low. CBS’ single original was Intelligence (1.3/3) at 10 PM. The freshman spy action drama was down 13% from last week’s non-Olympics competing broadcast. Hart Of Dixie (0.3/1) kicked off the CW’s night with a 25% fall from its February 3 episode to a series low. Lead-out Beauty And The Beast (0.3/1) also was down 25% and to tie its series low.