Olympic Games ratings are up sharply for NBC, and the Winter Games have also
driven big increases on the company's MSNBC and CNBC cable outlets.
Through Feb. 13 -- the first six days of the Games -- NBC averaged a 19.5
Nielsen Media Research national household rating and 31 share for its coverage
from Salt Lake City.
That's a 19 percent increase over the 16.4/26 share CBS averaged for the
first six days of the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.
MSNBC scored a 1.2 rating and 863,000 households for its first three days of
coverage (Feb. 11 through 13), up 300 percent from the 0.3 rating it averaged
last February for news programming that ran during the same time period.
From 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. each day, MSNBC has carried women's hockey, curling and
some biathlon and cross-country skiing events.
CNBC, which runs hockey coverage from 6 p.m. to midnight, averaged a 0.4
rating and 293,000 households for its first five days of coverage (Feb. 9
through 13). Compared with regular programming that ran during the same period
last February, CNBC's ratings were up 50 percent.
NBC Sports spokeswoman Cameron Blanchard noted that CNBC's coverage hasn't
yet included the U.S. and Canadian hockey teams, which feature National Hockey
League all-stars and will likely draw larger audiences. Games featuring the NHL
players were set to begin Friday night on CNBC.
During the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, MSNBC averaged a 0.7
rating for its weekday programming and a 0.8 rating on weekends. CNBC averaged a
0.7 weekday rating from Sydney and a 0.5 rating on weekends.
Turner Network Television averaged a 1.2 rating for its coverage of the 1998
NBC is also drawing record Internet traffic from the Olympics. Its Web site
(www.NBCOlympics.com) drew more
than 1 million visitors Feb. 8, the day of the opening ceremonies, breaking a
record it set during the Sydney Games.