NBC Olympics Ratings Took a Tumble on Wednesday Night

Down 8% versus the comparable night of the 2014 Sochi Games

Mikaela Shiffrin won a gold medal in giant slalom last night. Getty Images
Headshot of A.J. Katz

NBC’s Pyeongchang Olympics prime time ratings took a bit of a tumble on Wednesday night.

Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data and digital data from Adobe Analytics, NBC Olympics’ Wednesday prime-time coverage posted a Total Audience Delivery of 19.2 million viewers, of which 17.2 million watched on NBC only. That means there was a 12 percent lift in total audience due to the TAD metric, which measures broader consumption by calculating average-minute viewing across NBC, cable and digital platforms.

The 19.2 million TAD is down 8 percent from the comparable first Wednesday of the 2014 Winter Games. The 2014 Sochi Games had no simultaneous livestreaming and no competing prime-time Olympics coverage on cable.

The 17.2 million who tuned into NBC-only during prime time topped the other broadcast networks by 79 percent, marking the most dominant Winter Games Wednesday since Feb. 23, 1994, which was the first time that Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding faced off after Kerrigan was attacked a month earlier at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Last night’s broadcast and cable viewership peaked at 21.1 million viewers from 9:30-9:45 p.m. ET, highlighted by men’s alpine skiing on NBC and pairs free figure skating on NBCSN.

Denver was the top-rated metered market last night night (20.7), followed by Minneapolis (18.4), Salt Lake City (18.3) and Seattle (17.3).

But the biggest news of the night came after prime time. Twenty-two-year-old American Mikaela Shiffrin solidified her status as the greatest female ski racer in the world, earning the gold medal yesterday in the 2018 Pyeongchang giant slalom competition. But she didn’t accomplish the feat until after Midnight ET, meaning viewing data for her performance isn’t counted in the prime time average.

Shiffrin is a favorite to win tonight’s slalom competition, which she won in 2014 as well. She’s also a favorite for gold in the combined, and will be in contention for a medal in the downhill.

@ajkatztv aj.katz@adweek.com A.J. Katz is the senior editor of Adweek's TVNewser.