Olympic TV Numbers Down From Past (AP)
The network did have its best Saturday night rating since Game 1 of last year's World Series, though.
NBC's first evening of competition, from 7:30 p.m. to midnight EDT/PDT, drew a 13.1 rating and 25 share. The network hadn't had such a highly rated Saturday since Oct. 23, 1999, when the Yankees beat the Braves 4-1.
But the second day of the 1988 Seoul Olympics drew a rating that was 19 percent higher (15.6), and the 1996 Atlanta Games' second day was 31 percent better (17.2).
The 1992 Barcelona Games opened on a Saturday, drawing a 13.8.
NBC's two-day average rating for prime-time telecasts from Australia is a 14.5. That's 6 percent lower than Seoul's 15.4, and a drop of 30 percent from Atlanta's 20.5.
NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol has said he expects NBC's prime-time coverage to average between a 17.5 and 18.5 over the course of the Olympics. All the competition will be shown on tape on NBC and cable partners CNBC and MSNBC.