We haven’t had tonight’s undoubtedly festive Closing Ceremonies yet, but it looks like the Rio Olympics is going out with a whimper and nowhere near a bang – at least in NBC primetime. Saturday’s mix of host Brazil’s victory over Germany in men’s soccer, a women’s 4X400-meter relay victory by Team USA, more track and field, diving, and a much-promoted sneak peek at a now brunette and tearful Ryan Lochte telling Matt Lauer how really really sorry he was, made up NBC’s packaged 8-11 PM coverage.
It was not a winning combination. With a 3.5/15 among adults 18-49 and 14.55 million viewers, the final Saturday of the 2016 Summer Olympics was by far the worst NBC has done the entire Games, down 26% in the key demo and 29% in total viewers from the previous lows of August 18.
Saturday night also took a big tumble from the last Saturday of the 2012 Summer Games in London. Olympics-to-Olympics, last night fell a whooping 33% in overall audience and a harsh 44% in the demo from the results of August 11, 2012 – which was the worst day of the London Games. To give a bit more Olympics context, last night was also down by around 5% from the comparable Saturday of the Beijing Summer Games in 2008.
Week-to-week, the final Saturday of the Rio Olympics took a dive of 44% among adults 18-49 and 39% in total viewers from the Games’ second Saturday of August 13.
With the exception of the next-to-forgotten finale of the canceled Rush Hour (0.5/2), everything else on the other networks was an encore last night. At the same time, all over the country local affiliates were preempted for NFL preseason games.
NBC won’t have the originals field as much to themselves tonight when they show a tape-delayed version of the 2016 Closing Ceremonies starting at 8 PM. After that, it’s see ya at the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo in 2020.