Games Deliver for NBC’s Cable Networks

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Delivering solid numbers from several high-profile events, NBC Universal Cable networks last week continued to provide an assist to broadcast sibling NBC’s Summer Olympics ratings gold rush.

Complete ratings from last week were not available at press time, but NBC said top performances from such events as softball, swimming and soccer helped draw significant viewers to MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo and USA Network.

MSNBC’s coverage of the U.S. women’s soccer semifinal victory over Germany tackled a 1.41 household rating from 1 to 2 p.m. on Aug. 23, while Bravo averaged a 1.21 with synchronized swimming on Aug. 24 from 7 to 8 p.m.

USA Network struck a ratings home run — a 1.15 mark from 10 to 11 a.m. on Aug. 23 — with the USA women’s win in the softball gold-medal game.

Through Aug. 23 — the first 11 days of competition from Athens — NBC said its four cable networks attracted 62 million total unduplicated watchers, representing a 62% increase in total viewers for the corresponding time periods during the comparable 11 days in July (38 million).

The cable networks helped push ratings for NBC’s primetime coverage, too.

Through Aug. 25, the Peacock Network averaged a 15.8 rating, up 9% from a 14.5 during the 2000 Summer Games from Sydney, Australia.

Through the first 11 days from Athens, USA was up 14% in viewership to 765,000 and in household ratings to a 0.58 in the Olympic dayparts, over the channel’s pre-Games third-quarter numbers for the same period.

MSNBC experienced a 186% gain in average total viewers to 512,000 in the attendant dayparts, over its pre-Olympic third-quarter levels.

Bravo was up 191% in ratings to a 0.32 and 441,000 total viewers over the first 11 days of the Summer Games, compared with pre-Olympic third-quarter dayparts.

CNBC drew in an average of 602,000 total viewers through the first 11 days, a 1,333% leap.