It really bites to be Sochi today. More specifically it bites to be NBC’s coverage of the XXII Winter Olympics and to get chewed up for the third time by The Walking Dead. Like last Sunday and on February 9 before that, AMC’s zombie apocalypse series has bested the Olympics among adults 18-49 – this time beating the Closing Ceremony. The 9 PM AMC show drew a 6.6 rating with 8.4 million viewers in the demo. The Walking Dead had 13.1 million viewers overall. Head-to-head with Walking Dead in the time slot, the Closing Ceremony of the Sochi Olympics pulled in a 3.2 rating with 4.09 million viewers in the key demo. For the hour, NBC’s tape-delayed broadcast had 15.21 million viewers. Overall, last night’s 8:30 PM-10:30 PM Closing Ceremony got in a 3.3/8 rating and 15.3 million viewers in preliminary fast nationals.
That’s a 40% drop in the key demo and a 29% fall in viewership from the Closing Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 games and a 13% slide among adults 18-49 from the end of Torino 2006. However, Sochi did squeeze out a small 3% viewership compared to the Closing Ceremony 8 years ago.
Up 29% in the first half of its fourth season over the first half of Season 3, Walking Dead has been nothing but TV Gold of late. The Walking Dead scored a couple of big demo wins last year against NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Additionally, the series’ Season 4 premiere in October drew a cable-record 16.1 million viewers and 10.4 million adults 18-49. WD’s Season 4 midseason finale in December had 12.1 million total viewers watch its 9 PM broadcast with 7.7 million in the 18-49 demo – another record for the show.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.