After almost being eliminated earlier in the XXIII Winter Games, last night’s all-time first gold medal in curling for Team USA was a sweeter than usual win for skipper John Shuster and crew.
However, played past the midnight hour on NBC Sports Network, the victory, witnessed by a crowd-pleasing First Daughter Ivanka Trump and others from the US delegation there for Sunday’s Closing Ceremony, did nothing to help NBC primetime ratings bottom line. And bottom is the operative word today as Olympics fatigue has definitely set-in for the final stretch of the 2018 international competition for the Comcast-owned outlet.
For the last Friday of the often-struggling PyeongChang Games, NBC and NBCSN’s combined primetime coverage grabbed a 9.2/16 in metered market results.
That is an all-time low for an Olympics that is on track to be the lowest ever.
Down 11% in the early numbers from the previous ratings bottoming out of the 2018 Games on February 17, last night’s alpine skiing, snowboarding speed skating and bobsledding filled coverage is also down 2% from the last Friday of the Sochi Games in 2014. Unlike last night’s primetime, the coverage out of Russia on February 21, 2014 was tape-delayed and only on NBC itself. Like last night’s primetime, the final Friday of the XXII Winter Games proved to be a ratings low at the time too.
When the final viewership numbers were in, the final Friday of Sochi 2014 drew an audience of 14.9 million. To go a bit bigger picture, that was down from comparable nights of Vancouver 2010 and Torino 2006. Which, as we await final numbers for last night and based on the metered market results, paints a chilly portrait of the Winter Games out PyeongChang going for a new low.
Even with Team USA currently in fourth place overall in the XXIII Winter Games, there are a lot of double-digit drops once you drill into the numbers.
Peering Friday-to-Friday, last night took a fall of just over 29% in the early ratings from February 16, which itself was matched for a low at the time. Compared to February 22’s Russian dominated primetime skating drama, last night took a 23% crash. Put just NBC’s metered market ratings of last night’s primetime up against the results of the final Friday of the NBC-only broadcast Sochi 2014 and the outcome is a 10% drop from just over four years ago.
On the flipside of that and a testament to patriotism and insomnia, the 1.01 metered market ratings that NBCSN snagged from 1:30 – 3 AM ET this morning is the second best late night results in the cable net’s history. Only the ultimately victorious Team USA against Team Canada for the gold medal in Women’s Hockey match-up in the early hours of February 22 bested it.
We’ll update with more Olympics number and how Big Brother: Celebrity Edition did later. For now, here’s one last stat for you: last night’s NBC & NBCSN coverage peeking with a 10.2/18 during the men’s snowboarding in the 9:15-9:30 PM ET slot.
And there was this – nice:
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 24, 2018