Rio Olympics Ratings Hit New High With ‘Final Five’ Gold Win & More Medals For Phelps & Ledecky


UPDATE, 2:45 PM:  The tide might be close to turning for NBC and the Rio Olympics as the net’s best day of the 2016 Games just got a little better.  The final numbers have NBC’s 8 – 11:44 PM coverage getting a 10.0 rating and 33.4 million total viewers.

Still behind London 2012 Day 4’s final demo number by 22%, the adjustment today is up a tenth from the fast affiliate demo result of this morning. While down a notch from the audience of 33.63 million of earlier today, that number was only from 8 -11 PM and didn’t cover the post-primetime programming. The final viewership number was down 14% from the July 31, 2012.

Either way, it is still the best NBC’s packaged prime coverage has done this Olympics so far. A Games that has Comcast channels competing in primetime with each other for coverage and has turned the streaming heat on. Tuesday’s live streaming minutes were up 245% from the opening comperable day of 2012. With 883 million live streaming minutes so far for the Rio Olympics, 2016 has already digitally surpassed 2012, which had 818 million live streaming minutes for the London Olympics total.

PREVIOUSLY, 8:48 AM: On the comparable night four-years ago in London, Michael Phelps scored his 19th medal to become the most decorated Olympian ever and the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team took gold galore. Well, last night at the Rio Olympics, among more, Phelps swam to his 20th and 21st gold, Katie Ledecky snagged up her second women’s swimming gold medal of the 2016 Games and the FinalFive brought their winning brilliance to the mat. All of which saw NBC hit a Rio ratings high as its upward trend continued.

With a 9.9/33 among adults 18-49 in fast affiliates and 33.63 million total viewers, Day 4 of the Comcast-owned net’s coverage was the best the prime package has done among the demo and in total viewership. Tuesday was up 9% in the 18-49s from the previous high of August 7’s Day 2 and up 13% in viewers.

Compared to the early numbers of London 2012 on its Day 4, last night’s Rio coverage was down 19% in the demo and 10% in viewers. Day-today, last night was up 17% in viewers over August 8 and 15% in the 18-49s. And, Tuesday’s numbers will likely adjust in the final numbers.

Of course, with nearly a dozen channels playing some Olympics coverage and an ambitious online presence, those broadcast primetime numbers are not the only criteria NBC want to be judged by – by either viewers or advertisers who see Rio lagging behind the big success of London. To that end, the net’s has began issuing Total Audience Delivery reports to pull together the cable, digital and broadcast eyeballs.

Adding all that up, Monday’s TAD presented a total viewership of 31.5 million, matching the comparable broadcast night of the 2012 Games – which did not have the live streaming breadth of 2016. And there is a victory to be claimed out of that because, with 852 live streaming minutes up to and including last night, the online Rio Games have already topped the all of the London Games, which had 818 live streaming minutes in what already feels like a very different digital era.

Fox was all encores last night and The CW had only MADtv (0.3/1), which was even with last week. Bachelor In Paradise (1.1/4) and the obviously named Bachelor In Paradise: After Paradise (0.5/2) led the Rio counter programming charge for ABC with a drop of 21% for the former and a weak start for the latter. CBS’ Zoo (0.6/2) was down two tenths from its August 2 show up against the dominance of NBC and the Rio Games.

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