Olympic Coverage Boosts NBCU Cable Viewership by 48%; NBC “Nightly News” & “Today” Increase Leads over Competition
The announcements were made today by Jeff Zucker, President and CEO, NBC Universal.
“This once again proves the power of big events on network television,” said Zucker. “The Olympics casts a halo across our entire company. Our big-event strategy, best exemplified here in Vancouver, utilizes all of our platforms to aggregate the largest possible audience. In a media landscape that is continually fragmenting, the Olympics, now more than ever, reassembles the audience. We are reaching our audience everywhere they consume media, on the network in all dayparts, on cable, online and on mobile. We’re in the viewership business – that’s what we sell – and we are succeeding in increasing our viewership across all platforms.”
Here is a rundown of how Vancouver Olympic Winter Games “halo effect” benefited the various divisions and dayparts of NBC Universal:
MORE THAN HALF OF ALL AMERICANS HAVE WATCHED: More than half of all Americans (162 million) have watched the Vancouver Olympics on the networks of NBC Universal through the first nine days of the Games; five million more than watched the first nine days of the 2006 Winter Games (157 million).
VANCOUVER 9-DAY AVERAGE IS 6 MILLION MORE THAN 2006; BEST SINCE TABLOID-FUELED LILLEHAMMER GAMES: The 26.3 million average viewers for
the first nine nights of the Vancouver Games is the most for a non-U.S. Winter Olympics since the *tabloid-fueled Lillehammer Games (38.7 million). The 26.3 million is nearly 6 million more and 28 percent higher than the average viewership of the first nine nights from Torino in 2006 (20.6 million).
*Fueled by the tabloid coverage of the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandal.
OLYMPICS BREAK AMERICAN IDOL WINNING STREAK: On Wednesday, Feb 17, the Olympics on NBC broke American Idol’s six-year unbeaten streak (222-0 vs. all competition since 2004). Head-to-head against Idol (9-10 p.m.), the Olympics drew nearly 12 million more viewers (30.1 million vs. 18.6 million) for an advantage of 62 percent. Head-to-head (9-10 p.m.), the Olympics out-rated Idol by 60 percent (17.0 vs. 10.6) among households and 29 percent among Adults 18-49 (9.0 vs. 7.0).
VIEWERSIP FOR AFTERNOON OLYMPIC BROADCASTS SHOW LARGE GAINS:
* Through nine days, the Monday-Friday afternoon coverage on NBC (five broadcasts), hosted by legendary broadcaster Al Michaels, has averaged 5.8 million viewers, an increase of 31 percent over the comparable days from Torino (4.5 million). NOTE: Today marks the 30th anniversary of the “Miracle on Ice” and Michaels’ legendary “Do you believe in miracles? YES!” call at the Lake Placid Olympics that stands
as the most famous call in sports television history.
* The three weekend daytime broadcasts on NBC are averaging 12.0 million viewers, up 26 percent from the 2006 Winter Games (9.6 million).
* The eight late night broadcasts hosted by Mary Carillo are averaging 5.4 million viewers up three percent from the 2006 Winter Games (5.3 million).
OLYMPICS VS. PRIMETIME: VANCOUVER EQUALS SALT LAKE CITY:
Each Olympics shows substantial rating gains from the primetime television season. (Combined four network average: NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox).
The Vancouver Games are experiencing a 163 percent increase over the average primetime rating for the television season with an Olympic average household rating of 14.7 compared to a 5.6 for primetime. TV season began 9-21-2009.
T1. VANCOUVER 163% Olympics 14.7, Primetime season 5.6
T1. SALT LAKE CITY 163% Olympics 19.2, Primetime season 7.3
3. LILLEHAMMER 148% Olympics 27.8, Primetime season 11.2
4. NAGANO 83% Olympics 16.3, Primetime season
5. TORINO 79% Olympics 12.2, Primetime season
6. ALBERTVILLE 58% Olympics 18.7, Primetime season 11.8
7. CALGARY 45% Olympics 19.3, Primetime season
*For Calgary through Torino, the Olympic rating is for the full Olympics
and the television season is calculated from September through May
(excluding Olympic programming). For Vancouver the Olympic rating is
through eight days and the television season is from September through
the start of the Olympics.
TOP 25 METERED MARKETS (Nine-Day Average):
1. Milwaukee, 23.1/36
2. Denver, 23.0/38
3. Salt Lake City, 22.5/38
4. Seattle, 21.3/39
5. Minneapolis, 21.0/36
6. St. Louis, 19.9/31
7. Columbus, 19.7/31
8. San Diego, 19.2/32
9. Portland, 19.0/35
10. West Palm Beach, 18.9/28
11. Cleveland, 18.4/29
12. Nashville, 18.2/26
13. Kansas City, 18.0/27
14. Boston, 17.8/31
T15. Phoenix, 17.5/29
T15. Providence, 17.5/29
T17. Austin, 17.3/28
T17. Tulsa, 17.3/26
19. Washington, D.C., 17.2/28
T20. Sacramento, 17.1/31
T20. Cincinnati, 17.1/26
T20. Oklahoma City, 17.1/26
T20. Ft. Myers, 17.1/27
24. Richmond, 16.9/26
T25. Chicago, 16.7/27
T25. Indianapolis, 16.7/27
(source: information provided by NBC)