Facing tough comparisons, NBC’s curated primetime presentation from Feb. 18 fell well below the comparable nights in the 2006 and 2010 Olympics.
NBC averaged an 11.2 rating/18 share and 18.9 million watchers with its coverage from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday night, which featured American Alex Deibold taking bronze in the men’s snowboard cross final and 18-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin finishing fifth in her Olympic debut in the women’s giant slalom.
The Feb. 18 telecast was down 11% in both measures from the 12.6/20 and 21.3 million watchers for the network’s live coverage from the 2010 Vancouver Games and off 28% versus the 15.5/23 and 25% compared with the 25.1 million from the Torino Olympics in 2006, the last time the quadrennium was hosted in Europe. Both of those second Tuesday nights featured the ladies’ short figure skating program, which will air on Wednesday night from Sochi. The second Tuesday in Torino also included speed skating medals for Americans Shani Davis and Chad Hedrick.
The Olympics continued to coruscate on cable as NBCSN averaged 778,000 viewers for Tuesday’s daytime (6 a.m.-3 p.m. ET) coverage, according to Nielsen live + same day data, up 41% from the 553,000 from the comparable Tuesday of the 2012 London Games. To date, NBCSN has presented seven weekdays of live Sochi Olympics coverage that have accounted for the seven highest deliveries in that time slot in the network’s history.