If you take everything that the Comcast-owned net had from NBC, NBC Sports Network and streaming, last night’s skating and snowboarding dominated primetime pulled in a total audience delivery of 26.0 million viewers. That a dip of over 1% from the first Sunday of the XXII Olympics back on February 9, 2014 and a downturn of 2% from Vancouver’s first Sunday just under eight-years ago.
Here’s the thing, neither Sochi nor Vancouver had simultaneous coverage on NBCSN and much more limited streaming options. In fact, if you stripped off the streaming, NBC and NBCSN had 25.7 million viewers – which is down 2% from 2014 and 3% from 2010.
Mikaela Shiffrin's Debut Delay Blows NBC Olympics Schedule Slightly Off Course
Now, maybe you think that is no big whoop and that’s your right, but it is telling that with all the new platforms and options, what should have been one of the most watched nights of the PyeongChang games was behind the NBC-only offerings of 2014 and 2010.
When you just got NBC’18 to NBC’14, the former drops 13% in sets of eyeballs to the latter. Move you math of the semi-live 7 – 11 PM ET NBC ’18 vs. NBC’10 out of Vancouver and last night was down 14% in viewers from February 14, 2010.
And also, remember the Olympics didn’t have to contend with the 18-49 dominating brute blockbuster force of the midseason return of The Walking Dead like the Sochi games did four years ago.
On the flipside, it looks like those digital pennies are adding up for the NBCUniversal offering.
As of today, NBC Sports Digital has hit a Winter Games high record with 445 million live streaming minutes through this afternoon. That already beats the 420 million live streaming minutes for that the XXII Winter Olympics drew in from February 6 to February 23, 2014. Getting a bit more specific, last night delivered an average minute audience of 309,000, which is the best primetime competition data for the XXIII Olympics so far.
PREVIOUSLY, 7:18 AM: Mikeala Shiffrin’s debut at the XXIII Winter Olympics last night was delayed due to extreme weather, but skater Mirai Nagasu made history on Sunday as the first American female to land the triple Axel at the international gathering.
On a traditionally well-watched night and up a touch from Saturday, the first Sunday of the PyeongChang games also saw Team USA snowboarder Jamie Anderson take to the very cold mountainside and successfully defend her slopestyle gold medal from Sochi 2014.
Sunday additionally witnessed the American figure skating team score a bronze medal and that’s kind of where NBC ended up ratingswise.
With a 14.7 in metered markets, the network’s partial tape delayed primetime coverage from South Korea and its West Coast encore saw a dip from both the first Sunday of Sochi and of Vancouver 2010.
Though the Comcast-owned outlet is packaging NBC and NBC Sports Network numbers together, for the broadcaster alone last night found the early ratings dropping just over 6% from the results of February 9, 2014. Compared to eight years ago when the Winter Olympics were in the Canadian West Coast metropolis, the metered market numbers were down 11%.
The first Sunday of the XXLII Olympics from Russia eventually scored 26.3 million viewers and a household rating of 14.4/22. The comparable night of February 14, 2010 in Vancouver had an audience of 26.4 million and a household rating of 14.3/23.
Put together NBC and NBCSN scored a 16.5 in metered market results. That’s up 5% from Sochi’s first Sunday when the Olympics only played on the Big 4 net.
It should be noted that last night was a fairly uncompetitive Sunday on broadcast and cable that really only saw a new Big Brother: Celebrity Edition (1.2/5) and the Season 7 debut of Homeland in the running. That’s a far cry from February 9, 2014 when The Walking Dead returned for the second half of its fifth season. Taking a real bite out of the Sochi Olympics and hitting a new record at the time, the blockbuster zombie apocalypse AMC series hauled in 15.8 million total viewers and 10.4 million in the adults 18-49 demo to whip the Games.
There was no TWD last night, but the PyeongChang Games will face the series on February 25 for its Closing Ceremony when the show based on Robert Kirkman’s comics is back from its Season 8 hiatus.
When it comes to the Sunday of February 11, the Olympics own the night for NBC but in fast affiliates CBS’s offering of the new Big Brother spinoff had an OK night. Consumed in part by Omarosa’s widely reported sudden and short exit from the house due to a medical condition, the fourth episode of Celebrity Edition was up two tenths from its February 9 airing when it faced the Opening Ceremony on NBC.
Otherwise, a new America’s Funniest Home Videos (1.0/4) was steady and an original Shark Tank (0.8/3) at 10 PM was down a tenth from its last offering.
We will be back later with more ratings from the Olympics and the spattering of other shows that were on the Big 4 last night. For now, here’s two things for you: One, last night’s Olympics hit a metered market high of 18.6 on NBC and NBCSN in the 9:45 – 10 PM ET slot as the women’s free performance in the figure skating team event was in full flow. Two, here are the Top 10 markets for last night’s Games, with a past Olympic host leading the pack:
1. Salt Lake City 25.9/45
2. Denver 24.5/43
3. Milwaukee 23.9/36
4. Portland 23.6/41
5. Kansas City 23.1/35
6. Seattle 22.2/41
7. Austin 21.4/36
8. San Diego 21.4/40
9. Minneapolis 20.7/37
10. Sacramento 19.8/37
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