All that shines eventually loses its luster over time and viewership for NBC’s coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is no exception. Wednesday evening continued a downward trend in primetime ratings for the global sporting event on NBC, airing to 12.5 million viewers and earning a 2.9 rating in the 18-49 demo, per overnight numbers. Viewership fell 16% in viewers and six tenths in rating from Tuesday (3.5, 14.9M).
NBC’s Olympics coverage has dominated primetime since the opening ceremony on Friday, but this year’s games are no match for the viewership of the Rio Olympics, which drew in more than 26 million viewers for the corresponding night in 2016 for more than a 50% decline.
Last evening saw U.S. swimmer Caeleb Dressel take gold for the men’s 100m freestyle race. The night also consisted of the women’s table tennis semifinal, men’s BMX Racing quarterfinals and more.
NBC claimed that Wednesday’s sports showing marked the most-watched primetime show since Game 7 of the 2019 World Series, citing an average of 15.0 million Total Audience Delivery. Also per TAD, NBC shared that Wednesday made for the fifth consecutive night with 15 million viewers, which they say is a first since the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018.
Primetime for other networks consisted of reruns, or new episodes of game shows or reality programs. ABC’s night peaked ratings-wise with a rerun of Press Your Luck (0.5, 3.05M), and viewers-wise with The $100,000 Pyramid (0.4, 3.19M). Its night closed off with a Match Game special, which earned a 0.3 rating and 2.46M viewers.
CBS’s Big Brother followed Olympics coverage as the second highest-rated and most-watched program for Wednesday primetime (1.0, 3.79M). Love Island trailed behind (0.5, 1.89M).
Fox showed reruns of MasterChef, while the CW featured repeats of World’s Funniest Animals and Whose Line Is It Anyway?