Head to Head (8-9 p.m.) Olympics 19.2 Million, Idol 17.8 Million. Olympics Draws 22.9 Million Thursday Night. Olympics Vs. Idol From 8-9 p.m. Featured Ski Jumping and Alpine Skiing.
The Olympics on NBC last night beat American Idol for the second time in two weeks. Idol had been undefeated in six years (dating back to May 2004). When going head-to-head against Idol (8-9 p.m.), the Olympics out-drew Idol 19.2 million vs. 17.8 million an advantage of eight percent. Head-to-head (8-9 p.m.), the Olympics out-rated Idol by more than a full rating point (11.4 vs. 10.2) among households based.
On the night (8 p.m. – 11:55 p.m.), NBC’s Olympic broadcast that featured figure skating’s ladies free skate later in the broadcast, drew an average audience of 22.9 million, with a peak of 25.0 million in the 9-10 p.m. hour, according to data provided by The Nielsen Company
“I never thought we would have the good fortune to beat the incredibly well-produced and enduring phenomenon of American Idol even once. But twice? At best, I deeply believed we might come a little closer than we did four years ago because the show is such a powerhouse. We are happy to rent Idol’s space for a few nights. All the thanks goes to the athletes of the world who give us these great stories to tell. Their
stories are the stars of our show — and led to these two ‘miracles’ — just as the young entertainers are the stars of Idol,” said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports and Olympics.
The Olympics on NBC from 8-9 p.m. featured Olympics storytelling including the free skate of Turkish figure skater, Tugba Karademir who, coming into the free skate, was in 20th place out of 24 skaters. Also in the 8-9 p.m. hour was the ski jumping portion of the nordic combined, which, after the cross-country portion that aired later in the night,
concluded with gold and silver medals for American’s Billy Demong and Johnny Spillane respectively, and coverage of the women’s giant slalom. The 8-9 p.m. hour was the least-watched hour of NBC’s Olympic coverage last night.
On the night, NBC’s Olympic broadcast that featured figure skating’s ladies free skate later in the broadcast, drew an average audience of 22.9 million, with a peak of 25.0 million in the 9-10 p.m. hour. The 22.9 million was below the comparable night at the 2006 Winter Games (25.7 million, the most-watched night of the 2006 Winter Games that had American skating star Sasha Cohen leading and favored to win a gold medal skating that night).
HOUR-BY-HOUR VIWERSHIP LAST NIGHT
8-9 p.m. 19.2 million (American Idol, 17.8 million)
9-10 p.m. 25.0 million
10-11 p.m. 23.3 million
11-11:55 p.m. 24.3 million
(source: information provided by NBC)