UPDATE, 12:23 PM: The Closing Ceremony is now long over, the final numbers are in and NBC has hit a record – and not one they want. Last night’s 8:33 PM-10:36 PM broadcast received an 8.7/13 household rating with 15.1 million viewers. That is the lowest household rating for a Winter Olympic Games Closing Ceremony ever – dipping just below previous record holder of Torino 2006. Sunday’s result is also the second lowest household rating of the Sochi Games overall. However, it is not the lowest Winter Games Closing Ceremony viewership. Innsbruck 1976’s 12.9 million still holds the record there. Compared to Vancouver 2010’s Closing Ceremony, last night’s results were down 28% and 29% respectively from the 12.1/19 ratings and audience of 21.4 million of February 28, 2010. The ratings result of last night slipped 2% from the 8.9/13 of the end of the Torino 2006 Winter Games but saw a small 2% viewership rise from the 14.8 million of 8-years ago.
PREVIOUS, 7:02 AM: After 17 days, 98 events, 28 U.S. medals and 1000s of hours of coverage by NBC, last night’s Closing Ceremony brought the Sochi Winter Olympics to an end. The tape-delayed nearly 2-hour extravaganza drew a 9.5/14 in overnight metered-market rating for the network. That’s down 33% from the 14.2/21 result of the Closing Ceremony of Vancouver 2010. It’s also a dip of 4% from the 9.9/14 metered-market result of the Torino 2006 Closing Ceremony. It’s worth noting, in an Olympics that had a relative lack of American superstars and historic lows among adults 18-49, NBC did not have a big ticket event earlier in the day such as the Canada-U.S. Gold medal hockey match pulling in domestic viewers like the Winter Games 4 years ago did.
Last night’s MM rating is the third worst result the Sochi Games have had for NBC with only the 9.4/16 of February 21 and the 8.6/15 of February 22 falling lower. Examining the 1994 events between the rival American skaters, the Nancy & Tonya docu that aired before the Closing Ceremony had a 8.2/13 result in household metered-markets. Still, on a Sunday of a delayed Daytona 500 and almost nothing but repeats on the other networks NBC will undoubtedly be taking home Gold for the night. The metered-market results are based on 56 markets across the country so check out the Top 10 markets for last night’s Closing Ceremony below. We’ll update with more Closing Ceremony numbers as they come in later today.
(UPDATE, 9:08AM: The Closing Ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics threw a ratings chill on NBC. With preliminary fast nationals in, the network drew a 3.3/8 rating and 15.3 million viewers. That’s a 40% drop in the key demo and a 29% fall in viewership from the Closing Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 games. It’s also a 13% slide among adults 18-49 but with a tiny 3% rise in viewership compared to the end of Torino 2006. NBC’s 10:36PM- 11PM preview of its new comedy Growing Up Fisher pulled in a 2.0 rating and 8.862 million viewers. That’s down 59% from the 4.9/14 result that The Marriage Ref got when it previewed after the end of the Vancouver games at 10:31PM on February 28, 2010. Fisher launches in its regular 9:30PM time slot on February 25. NBC’s 7PM-8:30PM airing of the Nancy & Tonya docu of the 1994 rivalry that went way too far got a 2.6/8 rating and 12.6 million viewers – down 46% and 30% respectively from the comparable programming of the last night of the Vancouver Games. Overall NBC won the night with a 2.9/8 rating and 13.52 million viewers.
With Golf coverage pushing CBS’s Sunday primetime back 13 minutes across the board, a new 60 Minutes got a 1.2/4, up 20% from last week, while the Season 24 premiere of The Amazing Race snagged a 1.6/4. That’s down 20% from the Season 23 debut’s 2.0/5 on September 29, 2013 and down 36% from the Season 22 opener’s 2.5/6 on February 17 last year – when there were no Olympics on. With the Daytona 500 pushed back into primetime because of weather delays, Fox’s night of encores got all jumbled up. Fox Sports are expected to have numbers for the race – and we don’t mean who won – later.)
While we wait for those numbers, here’s some more Winter Olympics ratings from the last few Games to put things in greater context. In preliminary fast nationals, the slightly tape-delayed Vancouver Closing Ceremony on February 28, 2010 drew a 5.6/14 rating, which was a 47% rise from the 3.8/9 that the totally tape-delayed Torino pulled on February 26, 2006. Overall, Vancouver’s Closing Ceremony garnered a national household rating of 12.1/19 with 21.4 million viewers. The end of the 2006 Winter Games had an 8.9/13 rating and an audience of 14.8 million. To add some more perspective to that, the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Games Closing Ceremony received a 22.3/33 rating and was watched by 38.7 million on February 24 that year.
Top 10 Markets For XXII Olympic Winter Games Closing Ceremony
1. Minneapolis – 15.6/24
2. Ft. Myers – 13.5/19
3. Salt Lake City – 13.3/24
4. Milwaukee – 13.1/20
5. Buffalo – 12.3/18
6. Denver – 12.2/20
7. Providence – 12.2/17
8. Chicago – 12.0/18
9. West Palm Beach – 11.8/18
10. Austin – 11.4/18