NBC's Prime Olympic Ratings Lower, Cable Network Gets Record Viewers, Streams
Nearing the end of its 16-day-long London Olympic coverage, NBC prime-time numbers dropped again -- which was somewhat expected.
NBC's three-hour prime-time coverage for "XXX Olympics Games" sank 40% to a Nielsen preliminary 6.8 rating/20 share among adult 18-49 viewers from a week ago when the rating was a 11.2. For the first 12 nights, NBC had been averaging a 7.2 rating among 18-49 viewers.
For the night, NBC posted some 22.9 million viewers -- down from 31.9 million average viewership for the first 14 nights of prime-time Olympic coverage. Still, it was higher than on a comparable Thursday night at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
NBC said yesterday that the gold medal-winning victory of the USA over Japan in soccer, which aired during the daytime hours, gave its NBC Sports Network the highest viewership in its history for a specific TV event -- 4.35 million viewers. NBC also said it took in 1.467 million live video streams for the soccer game, the most in Olympic history.
Looking at broadcast prime time, competing networks CBS and ABC in particular offered up more competition on Thursday with some reality shows than they have in past days with regard to the strong Olympics programming.
For example, CBS' "Big Brother" at 9 p.m. earned a 2.1/7 among adult 18-49 viewers, up 5% from last week's 1.9 rating. Also at 9 p.m., ABC's "Wipeout" took in a 1.7/5, 21% higher from last week's series-low of 1.3. Later that night, at 10 p.m., ABC's "Rookie Blue" matched its last new episode ratings performance with a 1.5/4.
After NBC's big Thursday average numbers for the night, CBS averaged a 1.7/5; ABC, 1.6/5; Univision, 1.5/4; Fox, 1.0/3; and CW, a 0.3/1.