Olympics Draw 25 Million Viewers

The first two big official competition days of NBC’s Sochi Winter Olympics show strong ratings -- but mostly down from comparable numbers four years ago in Vancouver.

On Sunday for the Sochi Winter Olympics, NBC’s ratings posted a Nielsen 25.4 million viewers and a 6.9 rating/18 share among 18-49 viewers. This was slightly down from the 7.0 adult 18-49 rating the coverage had four years ago in Vancouver on that first Sunday of those games.

The day before, on Saturday, the prime-time airing of the games pulled in 25.03 million overall viewers with an adults 6.2 rating/20 share -- down 22% from the 7.9 rating from the first Saturday of the games in Vancouver.

But from NBC's perspective, it says things aren’t so bad -- especially considering that the last time the Winter Olympics were in Europe, where events are mostly seen on a tape-delay, not live, basis. For example, on Saturday, the Sochi games had a 8% gain versus the Torino Winter Games in 2006 -- which posted 23.2 million viewers.

NBC also touted its cable network, NBCSN, airing its first  Winter Olympics coverage. It pulled in 2.6 million viewers between 6 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday -- more than doubling the average viewership for the same time period on Saturday of the 2012 London Olympics, which got to 1.0 million.

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