NBC Says Vancouver Continues To Outpace Turin

The latest press release from NBC Sports on its ratings for the Olympics says the Vancouver Olympics continue to outrate Turin’s from four years ago and despite losing Tuesday night in the ratings to American Idol , NBC will spin it by saying the average viewership is even. Whatever helps corporate to sleep at night.

Here’s the press release.

174 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE WATCHED THE OLYMPICS ON THE NETWORKS OF NBC UNIVERSAL THROUGH 12 DAYS

25.2 Million Average Audience Through 12 Nights; More Than 4 Million More and 20% Higher Than 2006 Winter Games

Alan Wurtzel’s Top 5 Research Learnings – So Far – From Vancouver Games

VANCOUVER - February 24, 2010 - 174 million Americans have watched the Vancouver Olympics on the networks of NBC Universal through 12 days of the Games; three million more than watched the first 11 days of the 2006 Winter Games (171 million), according to data available today from The Nielsen Company.

12-DAY AVERAGE IS MORE THAN 4 MILLION MORE THAN 2006; BEST SINCE LILLEHAMMER GAMES: The 25.2 million average viewers through 12 nights of the Vancouver Games is the most for a non-U.S. Winter Olympics since the Lillehammer Games (39.4 million). The 25.2 million is more than four million more and 20 percent higher than the average viewership of the 2006 Winter Games through 12 nights (21.0 million). The night averaged 21.3 million viewers, and the Games have now surpassed 20 million viewers in primetime each night thus far (12 straight nights).

OLYMPICS AND IDOL HAVE IDENTICAL AVERAGE VIEWERSHIP (2+)
  • Season to Date: Idol – 25.2 million (13 telecasts) – through last night
  • Season to Date: Olympics – 25.2 million (12 telecasts) – through last night.
24% MORE WATCH OLYMPICS THAN LAST SEASON’S IDOL:
  • The Olympics in 12 days (thru Tuesday) reached 174 million viewers 2+ — 24% more than the entire last season of American Idol delivered (140 million over 39 telecasts).
OLYMPICS CUT DEFICIT BY MORE THAN 4 MILLION VIEWERS VS. AMERICAN IDOL: Tuesday night’s coverage (8-11:10 p.m.) drew 21.3 million viewers on a night that faced a two-hour episode of the juggernaut, American Idol on Fox as well as an original episode of Lost on ABC. The 21.3 million is below the comparable night at the 2006 Winter Games (25.1 million, most viewed night to date of Turin Games featured American figure skating star Sasha Cohen).

OLYMPICS VS. IDOL - CUT DEFICIT VS. 4 YEARS AGO:
  • On the comparable night during the last Winter Olympics in 2006, American Idol had an advantage of 7.5 million viewers going head-to-head with the Olympics (30.2 – 22.7 million viewers from 8-10 p.m.). Last night, going head-to-head from 8-10 p.m., that deficit was cut 57 percent with Idol only out-drawing the Olympics by 3.2 million viewers (20.8 million for Olympics vs. 24.0 million for American Idol).
OLYMPICS VS. IDOL - CUT DEFICIT VS. LAST TUESDAY NIGHT:
  • Last Tuesday American Idol had an advantage of 4.1 million viewers going head-to-head with the Olympics (23.9 – 19.8 million). NBC cut the deficit by nearly a million viewers (22 percent) head-to-head with Idol out-drawing the Olympics by only 3.2 million viewers (20.8 million for the Olympics vs. 24.0 million for American Idol).
223-1:
  • For six years American Idol is now 223-1 against all competition. The one show that beat Idol head-to-head was last Wednesday’s Olympics on NBC.
DOUBLED VIEWERSHIP FOR LOST:
  • Head-to head the Olympics more than doubled the viewership for an original episode of Lost (22.3 vs. 9.9 million, 9-10 p.m.).
The 14.2/23 average household rating to-date is and 14 percent higher than 2006 (12.5/20). The national household rating of 12.6/20 for Tuesday night is down from the comparable night at the 2006 Winter Games (15.5/23; the highest rated night to date - by two full rating points - of the Turin Games). The comparable night at the 2006 Winter Games featured American figure skating star, Sasha Cohen.

NBCOLYMPICS.COM AND NBC OLYMPICS MOBILE
NBC OLYMPICS MOBILE: 62 MILLION PAGE VIEWS: NBC’s Olympics Mobile platforms (Mobile Web Site and iTunes App), through 12 days have amassed 62.4 million page views nearly doubling the total number of page views for the entire 17-day Beijing Games (34.7 million).
  • There have been 1.5 million mobile video streams in 12 days, more five times the total number for the entire 17-day Beijing Games (301k).
  • By the time the Opening Ceremony broadcast started at 7:30 p.m. on Feb 12, NBC’s Olympics Mobile had already generated more page views than the entire 2006 Winter Games (1.07 million).
NBCOLYMPICS.COM HAS MORE USERS THAN ENTIRE 2006 WINTER GAMES: Through 12 days, NBCOlympics.com has delivered 34.9 million total unique users, more than 20 million more unique users and 162 percent higher than the entire 17 days of the 2006 Winter Games (13.3 million).
  • NBCOlympics.com’s 493 million page views through 12 days surpasses the total for the 17 days of the 2006 Winter Games (331 million) by 49 percent.
  • NBCOlympics.com has delivered 31 million video streams to date – more than 25 million more and 453% higher than Turin’s first 10 days (5.6 million).
NOTE: All data for NBCOlympics.com and NBC Olympics Mobile is provided by Omniture.

TOP SPORTS ON NBCOLYMPICS.COM ON TUESDAY 2/22 (by page views)
1. Figure Skating, 12.7 million
2. Alpine Skiing, 2.1 million
3. Hockey, 2.0 million
4. Speed Skating, 1.4 million
5. Curling, 907k

TOP 5 RESEARCH LEARNINGS - SO FAR - FROM VANCOUVER GAMES:

"The Billion Dollar Lab” initiative involved the participation of a number of research suppliers and the source line following each of the learnings indicates how the data was obtained.

1. THE OLYMPICS IS A HUGE CULTURAL EVENT
  • 46% of Olympic viewers changed their typical routine to watch the Olympics.
  • 63% stayed up longer than usual to watch, resulting in 42% being “more tired than normal.”
  • 35% of viewers cried or became teary-eyed while watching (25% among men)
  • (Source: Research Results)
2. BIG EVENT TV PROGRAMMING BIGGER NOW - MORE THAN EVER 
  • More
    than half of all Americans have watched the Vancouver Olympics on the networks of NBC (174 million).
  • That’s 24% more viewers than watched the entire 2009 season of American Idol (140 million for 39 separate telecasts).
3. THE OLYMPICS ARE A POSITIVE FAMILY VIEWING EXPERIENCE
  • 77% of parents say they use the Olympics to teach their kids values.
  • 76% agree “Olympics give me an opportunity to spend quality time together with my family.” (Source: Insight Express 2/14/10)
4. THERE IS TREMENDOUS GROWTH IN YOUNGER VIEWERS
  • Gains from youth categories far exceed growth in older demos.
  • Viewing among P18-24 is up 46% and viewing among older teens (15-17) is up 34% (compared to viewing for Turin Games).
5. PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR A SHARED CULTURAL EXPERIENCE IN A FRACTIONALIZED MEDIA WORLD
  • There aren’t many experiences that let people share an event in such great numbers. We see that in our social networking numbers and the overall amount of viewing.
  • 63% of Olympics viewers say, “My friends and I enjoy talking about these Olympics.” (source: Knowledge Networks)
METERED MARKET RATINGS BY TIME ZONE (12-Day Average):
Mountain Time Zone 19.4/31
Central Time Zone 15.9/25
Pacific Time Zone 15.7/24
Eastern Time Zone 15.2/24

TOP 25 METERED MARKETS (12-Day Average):
1. Salt Lake City, 22.3/37
2. Denver, 22.2/36
3. Milwaukee, 21.8/34
4. Seattle, 20.2/37
5. Minneapolis, 20.0/34
6. St. Louis, 19.2/30
7. Columbus, 18.7/29
8. San Diego, 18.5/31
9. West Palm Beach, 18.3/27
10. Portland, 18.2/33
11. Kansas City, 18.0/27
12. Nashville, 17.5/25
T13. Oklahoma City, 17.4/26
T13. Cleveland, 17.4/27
15. Tulsa, 17.1/25
T16. Phoenix, 17.0/28
T16. Ft. Myers, 17.0/27
T18. Boston, 16.9/30
T18. Austin, 16.9/27
20. Providence, 16.8/28
21. Cincinnati, 16.6/26
22. Indianapolis, 16.4/26
23. Sacramento, 16.3/29
T24. Washington D.C., 16.2/27
T24. Detroit, 16.2/26
T24. Chicago, 16.2/26

TOP 25 METERED MARKETS FOR TUESDAY, FEB. 23:
1. Salt Lake City, 20.7/34
2. Denver, 19.8/33
3. Minneapolis, 18.3/30
4. St. Louis, 17.3/27
5. Seattle, 17.2/32
6. Milwaukee, 17.1/27
7. San Diego, 16.9/29
8. West Palm Beach, 16.6/24
9. Oklahoma City, 16.4/24
T10. Nashville, 16.3/23
T10. Tulsa, 16.3/23
12. Columbus, 15.9/25
13. Ft. Myers, 15.7/24
T14. Portland, 15.5/29
T14. Kansas City, 15.5/23
16. Indianapolis, 15.3/25
17. New York, 15.0/23
18. Phoenix, 14.9/24
T19. Chicago, 14.8/23
T19. Albuquerque, 14.8/23
T21. Boston, 14.5/26
T21. Cincinnati, 14.5/23
T23. Washington D.C., 14.0/24
T23. Detroit, 14.0/22
T23. Austin, 14.0/21
T23. Providence, 14.0/24

Viewership for the Olympics usually goes down in the second week and we’re seeing that with lower ratings for Sunday and Monday. More later.

Ken Fang

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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