NBC’s Winter Olympics in February helped lift overall C3 ratings for all broadcast networks versus a year ago -- a rare monthly improvement. But viewing gains were still down from four years ago, when the last Winter Olympics telecast aired.
Total day Nielsen C3 ratings among 18-49 viewers (C3 is the average minute commercial ratings plus three days of time-shifted viewing) grew 3% for broadcast networks versus February a year ago. Cable networks were down 10%, according to MoffettNathanson Research.
In February 2014, broadcast networks were up 12% versus the year before, with cable networks flat.
In prime time, NBC -- which also had the Super Bowl -- witnessed a strong 324% improvement to average 5.69 million 18-49 viewers. ABC lost 43% to 1.14 million, while CBS went down 38% to 1.12 million. Fox, which sank 82% to 866,000, aired the highly rated Super Bowl game a year ago.
NBCU cable networks also improved with Olympic programming, especially its sports network NBCSN. NBCU cable networks were up 13% in total day cable C3 18-49 viewing -- the only cable network group to show a gain. NBCSN grew 243,000 total day C3 18-49 viewers versus the previous year.
Discovery networks were down 8% in February; A+E Networks lost 9%, while Viacom was off 11% and Disney was also down 11%. Fox cable networks were off 13%, with Time Warner giving up 14%, Scripps Networks Interactive down 15%; and AMC Networks dipped 21%.