UPDATE, 12:58 PM: The final numbers are in for the official first full-day of Olympics competition from Sochi and 2014 has remained basically even with Vancouver 2010 and pulled ahead of Torino 2006. NBC‘s primetime coverage of the 2014 Winter Games drew a 13.9/24 share household ratings result and 25.1M viewers. That’s a slight dip from the 14.0/25 results and down just over a million from the audience of 26.2 million of the comparative day in the Vancouver 2010 games. However, Saturday’s ratings saw a rise of 8% and 3% respectively for NBC over the 13.5/23 household rating and 23.2M viewers of Day 1 of competition in Torino 2006. Additionally, last night’s result is the best Saturday primetime on any of the big four since the second Saturday of the 2010 Vancouver games — which pulled in 26.6 million viewers.
PREVIOUS, 8:26 AM:, The first official full day of competition at the Sochi Olympics saw the U.S. snag its first Gold of the Games thanks to snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg’s Slopestyle victory. It also saw NBC‘s primetime coverage draw a 6.2/20 ratings result in preliminary fast nationals with 25.03 million watching. That’s a 17% slide from the 7.5/22 rating that the first full day of the last Winter Games in Vancouver got on February 13, 2010. That Saturday in 2010 also had an average of 26.2 million viewers, a million more than last night. Still, facing virtually nothing but a new 48 Hours (0.7/2, down 13% from last week), repeats and movies on the other networks, NBC easily won for the night among Adults 18-49 and in viewers. ABC came in second for the night with 0.6/2 rating and 2.23 million viewers. In metered-market results NBC’s Saturday Olympic coverage drew a 15.2/25. Check out the Top 10 metered-markets from last night’s NBC coverage below – like for the Opening Ceremony, Minneapolis is still No. #1.
To provide some additional context to all the numbers, the last Winter Games in 2010 had a national household rating of 14.0/25 that Saturday. Torino 2006 had a national household rating of 13.5/23 on its first day of full competition with an audience of 23.2 million tuning in. It’s also worth noting that the first day of NBC’s competition coverage from Vancouver did not feature viewer favorite figure skating as last night did and as Torino did in 2006.
Lead by Bob Costas, NBC’s primetime package last night featured Kotsenberg’s win as well figure skating and skiing events. The network focused on coverage of the new figure skating team event featuring world ice dance champs Meryl Davis and Charlie White, multi-Olympic medalist Bode Miller’s trials for today’s Men’s downhill skiing and Jamie Anderson competing in the first ever Women’s Slopestyle.
Of course, with live online streaming of events and coverage on NBCSN and MSNBC, Saturday saw a lot of non-primetime Olympics from the $50 billion dollar Winter Games as well. In addition to Kotsenberg’s Gold for the USA, sisters Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Cholé Dufour-Lapointe took the Gold and Silver respectively for Canada in the women’s moguls event, both North American countries won Women’s Hockey games and Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen tied a Winters Olympic record when he won the Biathlon Sprint to garner his 12 medals, matching countryman Bjoern Daehlie’s haul. Unfortunately for Russia, it had no medals wins on Saturday – the first time a host country has suffered such a fate on the first full day at the Olympics since 1998.
Top 10 Markets For XXII Olympic Winter Games Day 1 Of Full Competition
1) Minneapolis – 22.4/41
2) Portland – 20.7/34
3) Salt Lake City – 20.6/39
4) Denver – 20.3/37
5) Milwaukee – 19.8/34
6) Ft. Myers – 18.5/31
7) Boston – 18.2/33
8) Sacramento – 17.6/30
9) Kansas City- 17.6/29
10) Austin – 17.3/32
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.