NBC Olympics Weekend Ratings Declined From 2014

Sunday night coverage fiercely competed with the 2018 NBA All-Star Game

Digital has delivered 11.6 million uniques for live content so far. NBC Sports Group
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Saturday and Sunday were the two lowest-rated days for NBC’s Pyeongchang Olympics coverage to date.

Sunday’s prime-time coverage of the 2018 Winter Games posted a Total Audience Delivery of 18.2 million total viewers, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data and digital data from Adobe Analytics. That’s down 15 percent compared to the NBC Olympics’ total prime time audience on the same Sunday during the 2014 Sochi games.

16.3 million total viewers watched the Sunday prime-time action on NBC-only, meaning the TAD metric (which measures average viewing across broadcast, cable and digital) provided a 12 percent bump to the NBC-only total.

Sunday viewership peaked at 20.7 million total viewers from 9-9:15 p.m. ET. NBC was airing women’s alpine skiing and NBCSN was airing ice dance.

As was the case in 2014, Sunday night’s Olympics coverage went up against TNT’s presentation of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, an event which traditionally takes a chunk out of the NBC Olympics audience, especially in the younger demos.

The combined audience for Olympics coverage on NBC and NBCSN was 18 million total viewers, once again dominating the broadcast TV competition of ABC, CBS and Fox (which collectively had 9.9 million total viewers). While NBA All-Star Game ratings for TNT have yet to be released by Nielsen, Olympics coverage will still win handily when it comes to total audience.

On a positive note, NBC Sports Digital continues to have a big 2018 Games. Digital has delivered 11.6 million uniques for live content so far, up 174 percent from 4.3 million at this point in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Now, to Saturday. The second Saturday night of the Olympics is often the least-watched night and 2018 was no different for NBC.

Saturday’s prime-time coverage posted a Total Audience Delivery of 16.1 million total viewers, per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data and digital data from Adobe Analytics. That’s the lowest figure of the Games to-date and down 6 percent compared to the NBC Olympics’ prime-time audience on the same Saturday in 2014 (17.1 million).

14.5 million total viewers watched the Saturday prime-time action on NBC-only, meaning the TAD metric (which combines average broadcast, cable and digital viewing) provided a 11 percent bump to the NBC-only total.

That said, NBC’s Olympics coverage dominated its Saturday night network competition, dwarfing the combined prime time audience of ABC, CBS and Fox.

Lastly, Friday’s prime time coverage (which was defined as 8-11:23 p.m. ET) posted a Total Audience Delivery of 19.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data and digital data from Adobe Analytics.

That’s flat compared to the prime time audience on the same Friday during Sochi 2014.

16.6 million total viewers watched the Friday prime time action on NBC-only, meaning the TAD metric (which combines broadcast, cable and digital viewing) provided a 16 percent bump to the NBC-only total.

The combined average audience for NBC and NBCSN was 18.9 million total viewers, more than doubling the Friday prime-time competition of ABC, CBS and Fox. Those three networks delivered a combined 8.1 million total viewers.

Friday viewership on NBC and NBCSN peaked at 21.9 million viewers from 10—10:15 p.m. ET. NBC was airing women’s alpine skiing, and NBCSN was airing men’s free skate figure skating.

NBCSN averaged 2.4 million total viewers last week in prime time from Friday to Friday. That’s the network’s largest average total prime time audience over a seven-day stretch in its history.


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