Lots of parents must have pried their kids away from Minecraft or Pokemon Go last night — for 10 seconds, at least. NBC said today that nearly 35 million people watched its coverage of the Men’s 100M final from the Rio Olympics, which saw Planet Earth’s fastest human secure yet another place in sporting lore.
Usain Bolt toyed with the field in winning the sprint with a workaday time — for him — of 9.81 seconds. It earned the flamboyant Jamaican’s record third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the 100M dash, and he now is focused on three-peating in the 200M and 4×100 relay. Wins in those events would give the Greatest Sprinter Who Ever Lived unheard-of back-to-back-to-back golds in all three events.
Viewership for Sunday night’s NBC broadcast peaked at 34.9 million between 9:15-9:30 PM ET/PT, as Bolt sprinted into history, according to national data from The Nielsen Company. But those 10 seconds weren’t able to bolster the network’s ratings overall for Sunday night, which were down compared with the 2012 London Games and last week’s coverage.