This is the reason why NBC Sports included NBC Sports Network in the Olympics rotation this year. And by loading USA’s team sports like basketball and soccer, the ratings have reflected that decision.
Monday (Day 10) became the best day ever on NBC Sports Network. The entire day (6 a.m. until 3 a.m.) averaged 956,000 viewers, but for the Olympics programming period from 4 a.m. until 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN garnered an average of 1.21 million viewers and a 0.8 rating.
For the two big events on the channel yesterday, NBCSN averaged 2.92 million viewers for the compelling USA-Canada women’s soccer semifinal. And for the USA-Argentina men’s basketball game which was close at halftime, NBC Sports Network averaged 3.33 million viewers.
Here’s the press release.
3.33 Million Watch Team USA Men’s Basketball Defeat Argentina
Team USA Women’s Soccer OT Victory vs. Canada Watched by 2.92 Million
Women’s Soccer Gold Medal Final: USA vs. Japan, Thursday at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network
LONDON – August 7, 2012 – Powered by victories from Team USA men’s basketball and women’s soccer, NBC Sports Network scored its most-watched total day ever yesterday — Monday, August 6 — by averaging 956,00 viewers (0.63 HH rating; 6-3 a.m. ET).
Strictly for its Olympic coverage, which aired from 4 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network averaged 1.21 million viewers (0.80 HH rating) on Monday, its best ever for that daypart. From 2:45-7 p.m. ET — when both games aired back to back — NBC Sports Network averaged 3.06 million viewers (1.94 HH rating), also the best ever for that particular daypart on the channel.
After leading by only one point at halftime, 60-59, Team USA pulled away to defeat Argentina, 126-97, in a men’s basketball game that was watched by 3.33 million viewers (2.14 HH rating) on NBC Sports Network (5:30-7 p.m. ET), the channel’s highest viewership average ever for that particular daypart.
Prior to the men’s basketball victory, Team USA’s women’s soccer team won a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory against Canada. The game was watched by 2.92 million viewers (1.84 HH rating) on NBC Sports Network from 2:45-5:30 p.m. ET, the best ever for that daypart on the channel. The 5-5:30 p.m. ET half-hour, which was when Alex Morgan scored the game-winning goal, was watched by 3.84 million viewers, making it the most-watched half-hour of the Olympics to date on NBC Sports Network.
NBC Sports Network ranked as the No. 1 cable network in viewers during both games.
On Wednesday night, Team USA men’s basketball faces Australia in the quarterfinal at 5:15 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. On Thursday, NBC Sports Network hosts the women’s soccer gold medal final between Team USA and Japan at 2:45 p.m. ET.