NBC’s Olympics Ratings Rebounded a Bit Thursday Night

But remained lower than last week

It was an inspiring night in Olympics competition Thursday, with Team USA's Ashton Eaton taking home the gold in the men's decathlon and Usain Bolt flying to a third consecutive gold medal in the 200 meters. But NBC's Olympics coverage was a bit slower out of the blocks, averaging 21.7 million viewers, a slight rebound from Wednesday night. Still, Thursday was one of the lowest-rated nights of the Rio Games so far.

On the upside, NBC's Olympics coverage continues to outpace the broadcast competition, beating broadcast rivals CBS, Fox and ABC combined. Thursday night marked the 115th consecutive night that an NBC Summer Olympics presentation has topped prime time. According to NBC, the network's Summer Games have won 131 of 132 nights since the dawn of People Meters.

NBC's prime-time rating of 7.0 among 18- to 49-year-olds was about three times the combined rating of the other broadcast networks.

In prime time on Thursday, NBCSN's live coverage averaged 959,000 viewers, and the Golf Channel's Thursday afternoon coverage of the second round of the Olympics tournament was up 281 percent among average viewers and 229 percent for U.S. households compared with the same Thursday in 2012 opposite the London Games.

Top local markets for NBC's Olympics coverage Thursday night included Salt Lake City (17.3/34), Denver (16.3/33), West Palm Beach, Fla. (16.1/27), Columbus, Ohio (15.8/27), and Austin, Texas (15.4/28).