Big Olympics Ratings: Will NBC's New Shows Get A Golden Halo?

Those big Olympic-sized ratings took NBC by surprise. But what's next?  

The good news: TV advertisers got more than they paid for. The bad: NBC could have sold those TV advertisers at higher CPMs. The question mark: What will this do for NBC's new shows looking to get the network out of its fourth-place doldrums?

Sure, NBC has sold an additional $25 million in advertising sales -- not chump-change by any measure. That adds another 2% to the $1 billion in revenue the network said it took in before the start of the games.

What is left? NBC might have an announcement or two concerning another $10 million advertising sales haul, or perhaps for new Olympic deals. But of more pressing concern is its fall lineup -- and all those TV promos running in between Michael Phelps breast strokes for the likes of "Kath & Kim," "My Own Worst Enemy" and "Crusoe."

In the old days, any Olympic-sized investment would seem to promise a viewership spinoff for new fall programming. These days, it all winds up to a shrug of the shoulders. For these games, any positive spin is a plus -- especially since new shows will debut anywhere from three to four weeks after the glow of the Olympics has come and gone.

Perhaps even NBC marketers aren't all that convinced about the power of the Olympics. In one recent "Heroes" Olympic promo, NBC touted a special screening for critics and fans, showing the audience's positive reaction to the just completed premiere. That screening, which wasn't identified, was actually from the recent Comic-Con fan event in San Diego in late July.

What, then, can the Olympics do for a new show now? Perhaps the event doesn't offer front-line marketing benefits any longer, but maybe more of a reminder, if anything else - except, perhaps, for one show.

Right after the Olympics, NBC is going right back to this season's final episodes of its high-rated summer reality effort, "America's Got Talent," which has also been featured heavily in promos during the games.

NBC will see whether the Olympics can float other similar boats -- building viewership for other competition programming. Expect less water and splash



Next story loading loading..