How’s the ‘Today’ Show Doing from London?

By Chris Ariens 

‘Today’ anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, Natalie Morales and Hoda Kotb take on Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhuasser, of the U.S. Beach Volleyball team on Wednesday’s show.

Yesterday we shared how, in its first few days, “Nightly News” from London has outperformed its broadcasts from Beijing four years ago. But the same can’t be said for “Today,” which has a new anchor team in Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie and has been losing ground to the surging “Good Morning America” over the last few months.

While “Today” has won each day by wide margins: averaging a +1.3 million Total Viewer lead and a +732,000 demo lead on “GMA,” and saw its Monday audience up +47% over the previous Monday, the show is down from its performance during the Beijing Summer games. According to Nielsen Fast National program data here’s how the first two days have performed vs. the first two days from Beijing.

  • Mon., July 30, 2012: 5,900,000
    • Mon., Aug. 11, 2008: 6,498,000

    • Tues., July 31, 2012: 5,667,000
    • Tues., Aug. 12, 2008: 6,450,000

Another Nielsen measurement — though a smaller sample — is Fast Affiliate data. Comparing “Today” and “GMA” for these games and the prior Summer games, “GMA” has narrowed the gap considerably. On Monday, by -43% in total viewers and -34% in younger viewers. On Tuesday the gap was cut even more: -57% / -48%.

  • Mon., July 30, 2012, TODAY/GMA Gap: 1.488M Total Viewers / 845K Demo
    • Mon., Aug. 11, 2008: TODAY/GMA Gap: 2.631M Total Viewers / 1.281M Demo

    • Tues., July 31, 2012, TODAY/GMA Gap: 1.173M Total Viewers / 619K Demo
    • Tues., Aug. 12, 2008, TODAY/GMA Gap: 2.755M Total Viewers / 1.183M Demo