Wednesday, August 20, 2008
An interesting story from The Live Feed today about how NBC's coverage of the Olympics is causing record lows in ratings for the every other major network. Sure it's the summer, and the shows we're seeing are the likes of Terminator and Big Brother, but these numbers are still pretty mind blowing.
Little noticed in all the fanfare is that NBC's competitors are setting records of their own, having uniformly endured their worst week ever.Again, I was seriously wrong when predicting the ratings for these Olympics, but when Big Brother and the Mole are your only counter programming....you're in for a rough summer. With the high profile events over (outside of the Basketball Final), I'm curious as to how they ratings will finish up this weekend. Only four days left!
From the ratings week ending Aug. 17, ABC, CBS and Fox each had their lowest-rated and least-watched week in recorded People Meter history (which almost certainly means their all-time lowest; People Meters were rolled out in 1987 and broadcast averages have eroded significantly since then). Fox's 3.2 million average marks the lowest-ever turnout for a major network; ABC's 1.1 rating represents the lowest rated in the adult demo.
That all this ratings misery is delivered courtesy of NBC is almost like some cosmic prank. It's as if the least popular kid in high school suddenly became the football quarterback and Prom King.
NBC averaged 28.7 million viewers, with a 9.6 average among 18-49 (28 share). Even with the conclusion of Michael Phelps' successful quest to become the most-decorated Olympian in history, interest in the telecasts remained high, with Sunday night's coverage (28.2 million, 9.2/26) keeping pace with Athens four years ago. The coverage peaked last Tuesday (34 million, 12.4/34), lifting the network to its highest primetime rating in the adult demo for any night since the 2004 "Friends" series finale.
Weekly ratings: Olympics crush competitors (The Live Feed)