Olympics Pulling Great Ratings For NBC, Record Lows For Everyone Else

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.

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.
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!

Weekly ratings: Olympics crush competitors (The Live Feed)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 12:25 PM


As a former track kid (yes, I was 10, but I was fast) the 4x100 is one of the marquee events of the games.

Thank goodness they'll be showing it on nine hour delay.

Dan Levy said...
Aug 20, 2008, 12:46:00 PM  

The Mole was a great show!! It did as poor as shit in the ratings all summer long, but it was a good show.

jfein said...
Aug 20, 2008, 1:09:00 PM  

Julie Chen cleavage! What an unexpected surprise.

GMoney said...
Aug 20, 2008, 1:22:00 PM  

Could the Olympics beat a Charles Barkley televised colonoscopy?

Anonymous said...
Aug 20, 2008, 3:07:00 PM  

Julie Chen could get it.

James C. said...
Aug 20, 2008, 4:05:00 PM  

That Big Brother house should have the doors sealed and a couple of gas pellets dropped inside. Never have such a contemptible group of people been assembled in one place.

Anonymous said...
Aug 20, 2008, 5:16:00 PM  

They are playing tricks with the ratings, actually. NBC has been cutting off the nationally rated portion of the telecasts early - therefore, lower rated (read: non-Phelps) content is excluded from the averages.

Butterscotch said...
Aug 20, 2008, 5:34:00 PM  

Maybe they can have more Olympics running at the same time so that the other networks don't feel left out.

hollywood wags said...
Aug 21, 2008, 7:30:00 AM  

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