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UPDATE: Sochi Olympics’ Second Wednesday Ratings Best Since Salt Lake 2002

By | Thursday February 20, 2014 @ 12:43pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821UPDATE, 12:43 PM: Never underestimate the power of the ladies’ figure skating short program plus a gold medal win in the giant slalom to attract eyeballs to Olympics TV coverage. The final numbers are in and NBC‘s tape-delayed primetime coverage out of Sochi scored the network’s best result in 12 years. With a 12.2/20 national household rating and 20.2 million viewers, Wednesday has bested both the virtually live Vancouver 2010 coverage and the tape-delayed Torino 2006 broadcast on comparable nights. Last night’s result was up a slight 2.5% and 2%, respectively, from the 11.9/20 rating and 19.2 million viewers of 2010 but rose 22% and 25% from the 10.0/15 rating and 16.0 million viewers in 2006. Which means the last time a second Wednesday of a Winter Games did that well on TV for NBC was February 20, 2002 — during the last U.S.-based games in Salt Lake City. That second Wednesday pulled in a 19.5/31 rating with an audience of 32.0 million.  Yes – impressive.

Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 12PREVIOUS, 8:54 AM: Aided by a menu including the always popular ladies figure skating and an on-ice appearance by heavily promoted U.S. champion Gracie Gold, NBC saw its Olympics coverage go up a bit compared with the night before. On a night with originals on all the other networks, NBC’s tape-delayed primetime coverage drew a 5.0/5 rating and 20.1 million viewers. That’s up from the 4.8/14 rating and 18.5 million viewers the Games had on Tuesday. However, it is a 9% slip from the comparable night of the Vancouver 2010 games 4 years ago, which had a 5.5.15. Night-to-night, the viewership of the second Wednesday of the Sochi Olympics was pretty much the same as the 20.3 million who watched the virtually live Vancouver Winter Games on NBC on February 24, 2010. Read More »

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UPDATE: NBC Hits Second-Lowest Viewership Of Sochi Olympics As Second Tuesday Ratings Down From Vancouver & Torino

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 3:44pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821UPDATE, 3:44 PM: The second Tuesday of the Sochi Winter Olympics saw NBC’s coverage break the prevailing trend – and not in a good way. Whereas in general the network’s tape-delayed primetime package has been behind the virtual live coverage from Vancouver 2010 and basically steady with fellow tape-delayer Torino 2006, last night saw 2014 fall to third place. While not the low of February 15 (9.6/17) or even the second low of Valentine’s Day (11.0/19), last night’s national household rating of 11.2/18 and 18.9 million viewers was not pretty. For one thing, the audience for the 8:30-11 PM show was the second-lowest of the Sochi Games so far after the 17.1 million who watch this past Saturday. Last night’s results look even more bronzed when you compare them to the 12.6/20 rating and 21.3 million viewers of 2010 on the comparable night and the 15.5/23 rating and audience of 25.1 million who watched the second Tuesday of the Torino 2006 games.

So far, Sochi has been hitting by a hair historic Olympics lows among adults 18-49 compared with Torino. Of course with the popular women’s figure skating short program and the appearance by hyped U.S. champion Gracie Gold, those numbers could shoot up again like they did on Monday, when the network showed Meryl Davis and Charlie White’s gold medal ice dancing victory. Read More »

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NBC’s ‘Nancy & Tonya’ Docu To Air Sunday Ahead Of Sochi Closing Ceremony

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 11:33am PST

For days NBC Sports had been saying its Nancynbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821 & Tonya documentary would probably air on Sunday before the Sochi Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony, which also would sync it up with the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Competition. But that slot depended on any weather delays or unforeseen problems during NBC’s coverage. This morning, the network nailed down a timeslot: this Sunday at 7 PM ET/6 PM CT.

Tonya-Harding-Nancy-Kerrigan-Documentaries__140219193238-275x200Mary Carillo will examine the events that held Americans spellbound after defending U.S. figure skating champion Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee after a practice during the 1994 U.S. championships and rival Tonya Harding’s husband and bodyguard were arrested for planning the attack. The docu, which combines present-day and archival interviews, practice and competition footage, and news coverage leading up to and during the events, includes a sit-down with Kerrigan and a one-on-one with Harding. It culminates in the three-hour telecast of the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics ladies’ figure skating short program competition that was viewed by more than 126 million Americans. That ranked at the time as the fourth-most-viewed show in U.S. history, according to Nielsen data released by CBS, which televised the event. In addition, the competition earned a 48.5 rating — meaning nearly 50% of the country’s television homes were tuned in, a number that has not been matched since by any television program.
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‘NBC Nightly News’ Clocks 11.6 Million Viewers In First Full Week Of Sochi Games

brianwilliams__131210185524Broadcast from Sochi, NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams beat its first-week total-viewer averages during the Olympics in London, Vancouver, Beijing and Torino. It was the newscast’s biggest overall audience since the week of January 3, 2005. Versus the comparable week at the  Winter Games in Vancouver in ’10 (11.103 million viewers ) Nightly News grew 5%. In the news demo, however, Nightly averaged 3.180 million viewers in its first full week at the Sochi Games –  down 8% compared to same week at Vancouver (3.441 million). However, Nightly at Sochi came in  790,000 demo viewers ahead of World News’ 2.390 million, and 1,058,000 million demo viewers ahead of Evening News’ 2.122 million. Read More »

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‘Today’ Beats ‘Good Morning America’ From Sochi, But Margins Shrink

By | Tuesday February 18, 2014 @ 2:55pm PST

Today climbed back on top of the ratings among morning infotainment programs, last week,  though it did not find itself at the same dizzying ratings heights, relative to the competition, it has enjoyed in past Winter Games.   Today, after today3some recent ratings doldrums, delivered its biggest audience advantages over ABC’s Good Morning America since the second week of the London Games in August 2012, according to fast national program ratings from Nielsen for last week.

The second week of the London Games, you’ll recall, is the last time Today show beat GMA in total viewers. GMA has won every week since in overall audience.

Today averaged 6.221 million viewers last week — its biggest weekly crowd since the week of the Royal British wedding in April 2011. Today‘s 6.221 million viewers topped GMA’s 6.010 million for the week by 211,000 viewers. For comparison sake, that second week of the London Games, Today’s total viewers lead over GMA was 1.541 million. And Today’s lead over GMA during the first full week of broadcast goodmorningamerica_2012__120411163915__130328183014__130404165656from the Olympics in 2010 was 1.884 million.

In the news demo, Today averaged 2.545 million viewers its first full week of Sochi Olympics broadcasts –  its biggest demo haul since the week of the Joplin, Missouri tornado in May of ’11. That 2.545 million is 185,000 viewers ahead of GMA’s 2.360 million demo viewers last week. Here too, it’s Today’s biggest edge over GMA since the second week of the London Games. Four years ago, during the comparable week at Vancouver, Today led GMA by 1.011 million demo viewers. Read More »

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NBC’s Sochi Coverage Pulls In Best Olympics Second Monday Viewership Since Salt Lake 2002

By | Tuesday February 18, 2014 @ 12:51pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821Meryl Davis and Charlie White’s Gold medal ice dancing victory at Sochi cut a lot of ratings cloth for NBC’s primetime Olympics coverage last night. The final numbers are in and the network drew a 13.8/21 household rating with 23.5 million viewers watching. That’s up 12% and 10% respectively over the 12.5/20 rating and 20.9 million viewers that the Vancouver Winter Games pulled in on the comparable night four years ago. Compared to the 22.5 million viewers and 13.6/21 ratings of Torino 2006 on the similar night 8 years ago, NBC’s tape-delayed primetime broadcast rose a slight 4% and 1%.Last night’s household ratings result bopped up 7% from the 12.8/20 that the first Monday of the XXII Winter Games on February 10th. That Monday had an audience of 22.4 million watching.

Last night was the best a Winter Games 2nd Monday has done in terms of viewership since the 26.5 million viewers of the comparable night of February 18, 2002 during the blockbuster Salt Lake games – which must be good news to NBC, who has been struggling with near historic lows in key demos like Adults 18-49.

Related: Sochi Olympics Ratings Up From Vancouver For The First Time In A Week

Against a full slate of original programming on Fox and ABC plus strong encores and Intelligence on CBS, NBC dominated primetime in ratings and viewers by 18% and 29% – the best any single network has done against its rivals … Read More »

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AMC’s ‘Walking Dead’ Slays NBC’s Olympics In Key Demo Again

By | Tuesday February 18, 2014 @ 10:30am PST

Walkers - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMCOne time might sting a bit, but a second time it really has to hurt. Just like it did February 9 with its midseason return, AMC’s The Walking Dead has beaten NBC’s Olympics coverage in the adults 18-49 demo. The zombie drama drew 13.3 million at 9 PM on Sunday night and 8.7 million in the key demo for a 6.8 rating. That’s up from the 5.6 rating among adults 18-49 that NBC’s Sochi broadcast pulled in during the same hour. Last week, the blockbuster drama series drew 10.4 million in the 18-49 demo with 15.8 million viewers overall. That ratings result was an 8.2, compared with the Olympics’ 7.4 in the slot. NBC’s primetime Olympics’ coverage had a 6.9 rating on February 9 and a 4.8 rating on Sunday. Sunday’s Walking Dead was once again the top show on both broadcast and cable in the key demo.

Related: Sochi Olympics’ Second Sunday Ratings Fall From Vancouver 2010 & Last Week

OlympicsOverall, NBC’s bruised Olympics coverage has been 15% behind Vancouver 2010 so far in the demo this Winter Games, with a 3% slip from Torino 2006. It’s worth remembering that nearby Vancouver was broadcast virtually live, while Torino was on a tape-delay like Sochi. Torino also didn’t have the vast streaming resources and other platforms NBC is … Read More »

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Sochi Olympics Ratings Up From Vancouver For The First Time In A Week; ‘Star Crossed’ Off To Soft Start

By | Tuesday February 18, 2014 @ 8:47am PST
Nellie Andreeva

icedancingusaU.S. Olympians’ two milestone results yesterday — a first-ever gold in ice dancing and the first two-man bobsledding medal in 62 years — as well as Bob Costas’ return to NBC’s Olympics coverage after a sick leave, helped reverse the streak of Sochi ratings declines vs. the Vancouver Games. (It also gave a boost to the preenhanced-buzz-31306-1392658458-12miere of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.) Last night’s NBC primetime Olympic broadcast drew 23.5 million viewers, up 11% from the comparable night of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and a 5.6/15 in 18-49, up 4%. That is the first time the tape-delayed Sochi Olympics had edged the partly live Vancouver Games since last Tuesday.

Related: ‘Tonight Show’ Luge Gag Delights ‘Today’ Team: Video

Fox’s dramas kept steady against the Olympics. Both Almost Human (1.6) and The Following (1.7) matched their series lows from last Monday. ABC’s The Bachelor (2.2) was down a tenth from last Monday to tie a series low, while Castle (1.7) dived 19% from its last original, which did not face the Olympics, also tying a series low. CBS aired comedy repeats and a new Intelligence (1.2), down a tenth from last week. Read More »

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UPDATE: Sochi Olympics’ Second Sunday Ratings Dip From Vancouver 2010, Up From Torino 2006 But Down From Last Week

By | Monday February 17, 2014 @ 12:55pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821UPDATE, 12:55 PM:  A week and a half into the Winter Games for NBC, the Olympics ratings ranking is looking ice clear – Sochi 2014 is no Vancouver 2010 but it’s basically even with Torino 2006. Up from the 9.6/17 national household rating and 17.1 million viewership lows of Saturday, the final numbers give last night’s tape-delayed 7 PM-11 PM Olympics broadcast a 12.1/9 rating and an average audience of 21.3 million. That’s down 8% and 8.5% respectively from the virtually live comparable night of the virtual Vancouver 2010 games with their 13.2/21 rating and 23.3 million viewers. Compared to 8 years ago, NBC’s Sochi 2014 is up a slender 4% from the 11.6/18 rating that the Torino Games drew on the second Sunday of the 2006 Games. Last night’s NBC coverage was also up almost 10% in viewership from the 19.2 million that the Torino games had on the comparable night. Looking back at the first Sunday of the 2014 Games, last night’s household rating is down 15% from the 14.3/23 of February 9. Last Sunday’s total viewership was 26.3 million – almost 20% more than last night’s result. Among the key adults 18-49 demographic NBC’s Sochi Games coverage is down 15% from Vancouver 2010 so far and 3% from Torino 2006, while down 12% in total viewers from the former and up a touch from the latter.

Related: Bob Costas Discusses Twitter-Trending Eye & Return To Air

PREVIOUS, 8:49 AM: After hitting ratings lows on Valentine’s Day and Saturday, NBC ’s Sochi Olympics coverage was up a bit last night. With Matt Lauer sitting in again for still ailing but about-to-return Bob Costas, the network’s tape-delayed primetime broadcast drew a 4.8/13 rating and 21.1 million viewers according to early fast nationals. That’s down 19% and 9%, respectively, from the 5.9/14 rating and 23.3 million viewers who watched the comparable night of the Vancouver Games on February 21, 2010. It is also down 30% from the 6.9/18 and the audience of 25.42 million that NBC lauer feb 16pulled in on the first Sunday of the Sochi Games on February 9. However, with ice dancing, skiing, and snowboarding on-air, last night’s ratings are up from the Sochi-low 4.2/13 rating and 16.58 million viewers that NBC saw in fast nationals Saturday, and the 19.08 million viewers and a 4.5/19 rating the network received on the traditionally low-watched February 14. Right now, NBC’s Sochi coverage is down 15% overall in the demo in comparable days to Vancouver and 3% from Torino 2006.

Related: NBC Asks Bode Miller To Defend Reporter Ripped For Bringing Him To Tears

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Angelina Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’ Previewed During Olympics: Video

By | Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 2:52pm PST

Angelina Jolie‘s Unbroken got a first-look tease today during the Olympics in an extended preview profiling Louis Zamperini, the Olympian-turned-WWII POW whose life story gets the big screen treatment this Christmas. Jack O’Connell plays the younger Zamperini with Japan’s Miyavi, Garrett Hedlund, Domhnall Gleeson, and Jai Courtney in supporting roles. The Universal release marks Jolie’s second feature as helmer following 2011′s In the Land Of Blood And Honey. Check it out:

Related: First Look Photo: ‘Unbroken’s Angelina Jolie & Louis Zamperini

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UPDATE: Sochi Olympics Ratings Far Behind Both Vancouver 2010 & Torino 2006 On 2nd Saturday; New Low For NBC Coverage

By | Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 12:30pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821UPDATE, 12:30PM: The final scores are in and it is a Bronze for NBC’s Sochi Olympics primetime coverage last night. On a night of almost no original programming competition from the other networks, NBC’s tape-delayed 8:30PM – 11PM broadcast drew a 9.6/17 national household rating and 17.1 million viewers. In terms of ratings, that’s a 37% drop from NBC’s coverage of the almost live Vancouver 2010 games and 18% behind what  the tape-delayed Torino 2006 games pulled in on comparable nights. It is also the worst that NBC has done so far this Olympics. Vancouver had a 14.7/24 result with 26.7 million viewers while Torino had an 11.3/19 household ratings result and an audience of 19.7 million. On the first Saturday primetime of the 2014 Winter Games, right after the Opening Ceremony of the night before, NBC snagged a 13.9/24 household ratings result and 25.1 million viewers. Last night was 33% fall in the ratings and a 31% drop in viewers from the same night a week before.

Related:
USA-Russia Olympics Hockey Game Hits Record Viewership For NBC Sports Network
Bob Costas Returns To Sochi Olympics Coverage Monday (Photo)

PREVIOUS, 8:51 AM: The second Saturday of the Sochi Olympics saw Meredith Vieira subbing in for the still ailing Bob Costas on NBC and a whole lot of hockey highlights from the dramatic USA-Russia men’s game earlier in the day. It also saw NBC’s tape-delayed primetime coverage pull in a … Read More »

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UPDATE: USA-Russia Olympics Hockey Game Hits Record Viewership For NBC Sports Network

By | Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 12:20pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821UPDATE, 12:20 PM:  Turns out a lot of people like to get up early on a Saturday to watch hockey – a lot. The final Nielsen numbers are in and yesterday’s 7:30-10:30 AM USA 3-2 Olympics victory over Russia’s men team drew a record 4.1 million viewers for NBC Sports Network. The most to ever watch a hockey game on the channel. In fact, the audience peaked all the way up at 6.4 million in the last half hour as the two teams went head-to-head against their respective goalies in the 8-round shootout. That’s the most viewed half-hour in NBCSN’s history. Ice Hockey - Winter Olympics Day 8 - United States v RussiaAdditionally, Saturday’s results beat the previous NBCSN hockey audience record of 4.0 million who tuned in on June 17, 2013 to watch the Stanley Cup Final Game 3 between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks.  The USA-Russia game yesterday also delivered NBCSN’s best-ever daytime audience with 2.9 million watching as the channel continues it’s third straight viewership weekend day record of the Sochi Games. Read More »

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Bob Costas Returns To Sochi Olympics Coverage Monday (Photo)

By | Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 11:33am PST

Bob Costas Olympics returnBob Costas returned to the NBC Olympics studios at the International Broadcast Center in Sochi, Russia, today to prepare to resume his primetime and late night hosting duties tomorrow night. Matt Lauer is back tonight as NBC’s Sochi Olympics primetime anchor for one more night before Costas returns to NBC’s air. Costas, who has battled  an infection that began in his left eye and quickly spread to the right  soldiered on the first few days of the network’s Sochi coverage before calling Lauer in from the “bullpen” on Tuesday. In interviews, Costas said the studio lights made it impossible for him to continue working with the eye condition.

Costas is better, but his eye condition is still noticeable and he will wear glasses again tomorrow night, an NBC Sports rep said today. Costas was at the NBC studio in Sochi today for about two hours, seeing how the light affects his eyes and having meetings to discuss his return tomorrow. His absence last week ended his streak of 157 consecutive appearances as NBC’s Olympics anchor in primetime; it was the first time since 1988 Costas had not hosted the primetime coverage.

Lauer last week pulled double duty for three days, co-anchoring Today from Sochi while also filling in for Costas in primetime. Meredith Vieira stepped in Friday and Saturday, becoming the first woman ever to anchor NBC’s Games coverage in primetime.

Related: Read More »

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Matt Lauer Back As Sochi Olympics Primetime Anchor; Bob Costas Still “Day To Day”

By | Sunday February 16, 2014 @ 7:10am PST

Matt Lauer is back as Bob Costas‘ fill-in tonight as NBC’s Sochi Olympics primetime anchor, after Meredith Vieira did the subbing two nights and made TV history. NBC Sports still says nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821Costas is “day to day.” Lauer last week pulled double duty for three days, co-anchoring Today from Sochi while also filling in for Costas in primetime.  Costas  is battling an infection in both eyes. Late last week, Costas told Ryan Seacrest in a radio interview he hoped to be back in the studio over the weekend. That’s not going to happen, which is sure to raise questions as to whether Costas will be able to return to the anchor desk before the Games wrap. Last Friday, NBC’s Olympics EP Jim Bell brushed off press suggestions the network might be ready to  “shut down” Costas as its primetime anchor. “Getting into next week, it may become a topic of conversation, but we’re not there,” Bell said Friday.

This morning, NBC Sports was still saying “day to day” in response to questions about Costas’s condition and odds of return. In various interviews last week, Costas said he feels okay but can’t come back to work because of the specific nature of his eye infection — in some reports suggesting studio lighting, and makeup, may have exacerbated his condition.

Costas continues to deal with the effects of the infection that began in his left eye and spread to his … Read More »

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USA-Russia Olympics Hockey Nailbiter Scores NBC Streaming Record

By | Saturday February 15, 2014 @ 1:45pm PST

olympics-usa-russia-hockeySaturday’s Olympics men’s hockey game between Russia and the U.S.A. notched a best-ever streaming record for NBC Sports, the network announced today. The match, which went to an eight-round shootout and resulted in a win for the American squad, was live-streamed by nearly 600K users on NBCOlympics.com and NBC‘s Sports Live Extra app for a total of 14.7 million minutes of consumption. That beats streaming numbers for the Vancouver Olympics and this year’s NHL Stanley Cup Final. Due to popular demand, NBC will air portions of the game tonight in primetime with Al Michaels and Mike “Doc” Emrick joining Meredith Vieira at the analyst desk. The game will then air in full Sunday on NBCSN at 4:30 PM ET.

Related: Sochi Olympics Ratings Hit Low On Valentine’s Day
Meredith Vieira Steps In For Bob Costas At Sochi Games, Makes TV History

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UPDATE: Sochi Olympics Ratings Hit Low On Valentine’s Day; Down From Vancouver 2010 But Even With Torino 2006

By | Saturday February 15, 2014 @ 1:26pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821

UPDATE, 1:26 PM: Virginia may be for lovers but the Olympics are not when it comes to ratings. The final numbers for NBC’s primetime coverage last night of the Winter Games are in and the traditionally slow TV night of Valentine’s Day delivered the network its lowest result from Sochi so far. Hosted by Meredith Vieira, NBC’s 8PM – 11PM coverage drew an 11.0/19 national household rating and 19.2 million viewers. The previous low for NBC during this Olympic cycle so far was the first “bonus” night of the XXII Winter Games on February 6. The network got an 11.818 rating and 19.5 million viewers. The highest has been the 17.0/28 rating and audience of 31.7 million that the Opening Ceremony pulled in on February 7. While delivering the second most watched Friday primetime show on any network since the Summer Olympics in the UK two years ago, last night’s ratings were down 17% from the 13.4/23 rating that the comparable night of the Vancouver 2010 games garnered. The coverage out of Vancouver was virtually live, at least for Americans on the East Coast, but put side-by-side with the 11.2/19 that similar tape-delayed night of Torino 2006, Friday’s Sochi games were basically even – as has been the case often throughout these Games so far.

Related: Meredith Vieira Steps In For Bob Costas At Sochi Games
USA-Russia Olympics Hockey Nailbiter Scores NBC Streaming Record

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UPDATE: Sochi Olympics’ Official Day 6 Ratings Dip From Vancouver; Rises From First Day Of Games

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 1:40pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821

UPDATE, 1:39 PM: The final numbers for NBC’s Olympics coverage last night are in and it looks to be another close silver when compared against the past two Winter Games. With Today’s Matt Lauer stepping in again for the eye-infected Bob Costas, NBC’s 8-11:03 PM tape-delayed broadcast received a 13.4/21 national household rating, a 7% slip from the 14.5/24 that the almost live 2010 Vancouver Games got on the comparable night. It was a 13% jump from the 11.9/13 that the also tape-delayed Torino 2006 Winter Games drew for its first Thursday. Last night’s coverage also was up in the household rating by 18% over the 11.3/18 that the first bonus day of the Sochi Olympics drew February 6. NBC estimates that a total of 150.9 million Americans have watched the Olympics since their debut last week. That’s not on just NBC proper but across NBC Sports Network, CNBC, MSNBC and USA Network.

Related:
Meredith Vieira To Make History Tonight Subbing For Bob Costas
Sochi Olympics’ First Wednesday Ratings Free-Fall From 2010

PREVIOUS, 8:45 PM: It was another night with Matt Lauer in the anchor chair for NBC‘s Olympics primetime coverage and another night of ups and downs in Sochi. One week after the soft launch of the Games, NBC drew a 5.9/17 rating in preliminary fast nationals and 22.89 million viewers.
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RATINGS RAT RACE: Sochi Olympics’ 1st Wednesday Free-Falls From Vancouver 2010, ‘Idol’ Down Less Than Four Years Ago

By | Thursday February 13, 2014 @ 12:49pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821The first Wednesday of the 2014 Sochi Olympics saw Matt Lauer sitting in for an ailing Bob Costas again on NBC‘s primetime coverage and the return of an old rivalry. It wasn’t the U.S. and Canada women’s hockey teams — though they did play yesterday. Rather it was a direct match-up with American IdolFor just the second Winter Games in a row, NBC’s coverage beat the Fox singing competition in adults 18-49 and viewership – but not by as wide a margin as in 2010. Otherwise, it looks like NBC might want to get Costas back as soon as possible. Overall, fueled by snowboarding, lots of skating, and Slovenia’s Tina Maze and Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin’s historic downhill Alpine skiing gold medal tie, the network’s OLY-2014-SKI-ALPINE-DOWNHILL-WOMEN-MEDALSprimetime broadcast drew a 5.6/16 rating last night. That’s a weeknight low for the Sochi Games and down a hard 37%  from the 8.9/23 of the comparable night of February 17, 2010 at the Vancouver Olympics. That Wednesday four years ago was one of the biggest nights ratingswise of the Vancouver Games. NBC’s Wednesday Olympics package last night pulled in 20.77 million viewers, another fall from four years ago when the audience was a stellar 29.3 million. By the way, NBC announced this morning that Lauer will be at the Olympics anchor desk again tonight. We’ll update with Wednesday’s final Olympics numbers when they come in.

Related: Olympics 5-Day Ratings Even With Vancouver 2010, Ahead Of Torino

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Bob Costas Out Third Day At Sochi But Hopes To Return By Weekend; Matt Lauer Back In Primetime Tonight

By | Thursday February 13, 2014 @ 8:44am PST

Bob Costas has had to call in sick a third day at SochiNBC Sports tweeted this morning that Costas, who’d been missing from the past two nbcsochi__131202172913days of Olympics broadcasts owing to a nasty case of pinkeye, will sit out tonight’s primetime coverage. Once again, NBC News’ Matt Lauer will step in. “I’m hoping that I’m back by the weekend and I certainly think I’ll be able to do the second half of the games,” Costas told Ryan Seacrest on his radio program this morning, adding, “The virus, they tell me, won’t run its course for two or three weeks, but the symptoms will crest at their worst and start to get better pretty soon. As soon as the symptoms get to the point where I can be in the studio, I’ll be there.” Seacrest, like Costas, is part of NBCU-parent Comcast’s family — hence the interview going to Seacrest. Comcast calls it “symphony.”

MattLauerCostas, NBC‘s primetime and late-night Olympics anchor, has been absent from NBC’s Games broadcasts since Tuesday, when his Twitter-trending swollen pink eyes forced him into what he called “involuntary” absence. Costas, via telephone, explained on NBC’s Today show his eyes had become so “blurry and watery…and so light sensitive” even dim light caused them to start weeping, making it impossible for him to work in the studio.

Related: … Read More »

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