UPDATE, 12:55 PM: A week and a half into the Winter Games for NBC, the Olympics ratings ranking is looking ice clear – Sochi 2014 is no Vancouver 2010 but it’s basically even with Torino 2006. Up from the 9.6/17 national household rating and 17.1 million viewership lows of Saturday, the final numbers give last night’s tape-delayed 7 PM-11 PM Olympics broadcast a 12.1/9 rating and an average audience of 21.3 million. That’s down 8% and 8.5% respectively from the virtually live comparable night of the virtual Vancouver 2010 games with their 13.2/21 rating and 23.3 million viewers. Compared to 8 years ago, NBC’s Sochi 2014 is up a slender 4% from the 11.6/18 rating that the Torino Games drew on the second Sunday of the 2006 Games. Last night’s NBC coverage was also up almost 10% in viewership from the 19.2 million that the Torino games had on the comparable night. Looking back at the first Sunday of the 2014 Games, last night’s household rating is down 15% from the 14.3/23 of February 9. Last Sunday’s total viewership was 26.3 million – almost 20% more than last night’s result. Among the key adults 18-49 demographic NBC’s Sochi Games coverage is down 15% from Vancouver 2010 so far and 3% from Torino 2006, while down 12% in total viewers from the former and up a touch from the latter.
PREVIOUS, 8:49 AM: After hitting ratings lows on Valentine’s Day and Saturday, NBC ’s Sochi Olympics coverage was up a bit last night. With Matt Lauer sitting in again for still ailing but about-to-return Bob Costas, the network’s tape-delayed primetime broadcast drew a 4.8/13 rating and 21.1 million viewers according to early fast nationals. That’s down 19% and 9%, respectively, from the 5.9/14 rating and 23.3 million viewers who watched the comparable night of the Vancouver Games on February 21, 2010. It is also down 30% from the 6.9/18 and the audience of 25.42 million that NBC pulled in on the first Sunday of the Sochi Games on February 9. However, with ice dancing, skiing, and snowboarding on-air, last night’s ratings are up from the Sochi-low 4.2/13 rating and 16.58 million viewers that NBC saw in fast nationals Saturday, and the 19.08 million viewers and a 4.5/19 rating the network received on the traditionally low-watched February 14. Right now, NBC’s Sochi coverage is down 15% overall in the demo in comparable days to Vancouver and 3% from Torino 2006.
With the NBA All-Star Game on TNT last night racking up the highest score ever in the East-West match-up, and The Walking Dead on AMC, the only original on the Big 4 networks besides the Olympics was CBS’ 60 Minutes. The news mag drew a 1.0/3 last night, down from last week’s 1.2/3 to a new season low. We’ll update with final Olympics numbers later in the day when we get them.
To give some context to the numbers we have now: NBC’s Olympics coverage last night got a 13.2/21 in overnight metered-market ratings. That’s down from the 15.7 the network had on February 9. The comparable night of the Vancouver 2010 games had a 13.2/21 national household rating. The comparable night of NBC’s coverage of the 2006 Torino Winter Games had an 11.6/18 and an audience of 19.2 million.