It was a big night for TeamUSA at the Olympics on Thursday as Simone Biles, Michael Phelps and Simone Manuel all grabbed gold. Add to that the Force fan anticipated debut of a new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at the tail end of NBC’s primetime package and you had the attention of a lot of eyeballs – but not the most of the Games so far.
With Manuel making history, Biles sealing the gymnastics deal, and Phelps winning an amazing 22nd gold, NBC had its 2nd best viewership night of the Rio Games so far with 31.345 million viewers. Among adults 18-49, the 8 -11 PM coverage drew a 9.0/31, which matches the fast affiliate ratings results of Day 2 of the Games. We may or may not see a significant adjustment in those numbers later but we know right know the primetime coverage scored a 20.4/35 in metered market numbers – the second best overnight of Rio 2016
Last night slipped 9% in the key demo from the still 2016 fast affiliate best of August 9 – which saw the Final Five vault to gold themselves and the most decorated Olympian win his 20th and 21st gold. Viewershipwise, Thursday was behind that Tuesday result by a sliver of 6%. Compared to the sagging early numbers of the 8 – 11 PM NBC August 10 broadcast, last night rose 18% among the 18-49s and 20% in total viewers.
All of which put Rio Day 6 behind the comparable night of the record breaking London 2012 Games by 20% in the demo and 12% in its audience. In the final numbers that first Thursday of the last Summer Olympics hit a 36-year high with 36.8 million viewers.
In the much-discussed live streaming minutes, at 1.28 billion, the Rio Games has now surpassed both the London 2012 Games and the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.
The other nets had sport too with NFL pre-season games on local stations, which puts ratings for originals like Big Brother (1.8/7) in contention for adjustment later. As it is BB is down a tenth from last week while the only other non-Olympics original of the night, the CW’s Beauty and the Beast (0.3/1), is up the same.