The postponement of several key Winter Olympic Games events
has hurt early ratings for Turner Network Television's coverage of the Games from
But while ratings are down 25 percent thus far, executives
expect higher-profile events, such as men's hockey and figure skating, to boost
Through the first three days of the Games, TNT averaged a
1.2 rating, down 25 percent from the 1.6 that it generated with its 1994 Winter Olympics
coverage, said the network. TNT's household reach is also down 11 percent from 1994.
Greg Hughes, a TNT spokesman, attributed the early decline
to the postponement of key events due to several snowstorms.
'We've experienced a lack of events available to
us, including downhill skiing, due to the weather,' Hughes said. 'Our numbers,
however, have climbed each of the three days, and they should continue to jump with
upcoming events, such as men's hockey.'
Unlike past Olympics games, however, TNT is not concerned
about meeting advertiser ratings guarantees; broadcast network CBS is selling ad time for
both its and TNT's 50-hour coverage.
Nevertheless, Harvey Schiller, president of Turner Sports,
said prior to the start of the Games that TNT will generate solid ratings for its
coverage, although he declined to provide specific numbers.
'We're trying to bring to the public things that
will hold their interest throughout the Games,' he said. 'There will be some
features, but we want to focus on the athletes, as well as to provide live event