NBC’s Olympic coverage on Saturday averages 26M viewers
NBC’s Saturday prime-time coverage of the Winter Olympics averaged 26.2 million viewers, more than any night during the 2006 Winter Olympics, even without figure skating, according to figures released Sunday by The Nielsen Co.
“It’s simply remarkable for a Saturday night, television’s least-watched night, to surpass the audience total for every one of the 17 nights of the last Winter Olympics without the benefit of figure skating — the single biggest event in a Winter Games — which was the featured event of the first Saturday night in Torino,” said Dick Ebersol, NBC Universal Sports and Olympics chairman.
The average viewership was 13 percent more than the 23.2 million average for the first Saturday night of the Torino Olympics.
Saturday’s coverage in the San Diego market averaged a 16.2 rating, tying Providence, R.I., for 23rd nationally, but topping the national average of 14. Milwaukee had the highest rating, 22.2. The rating is the percent of television sets tuned to a particular program.
Through the first two nights, NBC’s coverage of the Vancouver Olympics is averaging 30 million viewers nationally, 33 percent more than the two-night average viewership from Torino of 22.6 million.
U.S. viewership traditionally rises for Olympic Games held in North America because they are able to be shown live in prime time in most of the nation.