NBC Sports Network, which is airing more Olympics coverage than any U.S. channel in history, benefited from Games' growth, scoring the two most-watched days in its history this past weekend.
Across more than 15 hours of coverage from 4 a.m. to 7:06 p.m. (ET) on Sunday July 29, NBC Sports Network averaged 1.204 million viewers, according to Nielsen live+ same-day data, its most ever in this extended daypart. That was 10% more than its 1.09 million audience average on Saturday July 28 between 4 a.m. and 8 p.m.
NBC Sports Network, which is the primary home to American team competition coverage and will air more than 292 hours from London overall, averaged 2.48 million viewers with the U.S. women's soccer team's triumph over Colombia from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday. The audience peaked with nearly 3.35 watchers. Rowing coverage in the 7 p.m. hour that night averaged 3.14 million watchers.
On Sunday morning, the U.S. men's basketball team tipped off its gold medal quest, averaging 2.65 million viewers from 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., with a peak audience of 3.04 million.
NBCU's other cable networks in play with the Games also performed well. MSNBC, which is presenting 155 hours of Olympics action, registered a 46% gain to 713,000 viewers from 7 a.m. to noon on July 28-29, a 46% jump from the 489,000 for the first two days from the Beijing Games.
From noon-5 p.m., MSNBC averaged 1.49 million viewers for the first weekend of the London Games, 44% more than the 1.05 million for first two days from Beijing and 163% more than the 567,000 for the first two days from the 2004 Athens Olympics between 4-8 p.m.
Bravo, the home to the tennis competition at Wimbledon, netted its highest weekend average in the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daypart since Oct. 27-28, 2007, according to NBCU officials. There was no comparable tennis coverage from Beijing.
CNBC, NBCU's Olympic home to boxing, saw its audience grow 24% to 698,000 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. last weekend, compared with 561,000 in those windows during the first two days from Beijing.