Every Olympics has its own narrative that develops during the course of the event. In the opening days of the Winter Games, the death of the luger Nodar Kumaritashvili was the primary storyline.
And the interest in the tragedy surely added viewer interest to an already high-profile event. In fact, WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) had the highest ratings of any NBC affiliate carrying the Games in the nation. The station’s average ratings Friday through Sunday prime time were 23.9, beating a long list of cities where cold-weather sports are popular, including, in order, Seattle; Denver; Minneapolis; Salt Lake City; Columbus, Ohio; St. Louis; Portland, Ore.; and Cleveland.
What many viewers of the Games saw Friday, however, included graphic video footage of the luge crash, which NBC news anchor Brian Williams admitted was “very tough for some people to watch.” The video also aired on Friday’s ABC’s “World News” and CBS’ “Evening News” broadcasts. More…