Does it seem to you like there are less commercial breaks and attention deficit disorder-style editing during this Olympics coverage, especially during primetime? Thank god. Maybe that’s why the ratings are so good. But why can’t I find 24/7 Olympics coverage on all NBCU stations, broadcast and cable? Because execs like Jeff Zucker, Dick Ebersol, are pinheads. And that’s why NBCU will still be in the ratings crapper for 50 primetime weeks out of the year once the Olympics are over. Of course, GE chairman/CEO Jeff Immelt has already warned that NBCU is likely to lose “a couple hundred million bucks” on these Winter Games, thanks to overbidding by Ebersol, NBCU Sports and Olympics czar. (This is the same asshole who criticized Conan O’Brien as an “astounding failure”.)
It turns out 97 million watched NBCU’s Vancouver Winter Games during the first 2 days of coverage, or 9M more than watched the Torino Games and the most since the tabloid-fueled 1994 Lillehammer Games (because of the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandal). So says today’s Nielsen Media Research. This comes after NBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony was the most watched ever for a non-U.S. Winter Olympics in 16 years with 67.5 million total viewers. The 32.6 million average viewers is the most for a non-U.S. Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in 16 years – just below the 33.8 million for the tabloid-fueled Lillehammer Games in 1994. The 17.3/30 national household rating is also the best for a non-U.S. Winter Games since Lillehammer.
The first night of competition on NBC averaged 26.2M viewers and did not feature the biggest draw of figure skating — or 13% percent higher than the first Saturday night in Torino which did feature figure skating pairs’ short program. The average audience from Saturday night is higher than every single night of the Torino Games. Figure skating begins tonight in primetime with the pairs short program. The national household rating of 14.0/25 for Saturday night is an increase of 4% over Torino in 2006. The 15.9/28 average household rating to date is up 21% from Torino and the best for a non-U.S. Winter Games since Lillehammer. NBC Universal is broadcasting its record 12th Olympics, the most Olympics broadcast by any network.