UPDATE: Sochi Olympics Ratings Hit Low On Valentine’s Day; Down From Vancouver 2010 But Even With Torino 2006
Meredith Vieira To Anchor Second Night Of NBC’s Primetime Sochi Games Coverage As Bob Costas Recovers
UPDATE, 1:26 PM: Virginia may be for lovers but the Olympics are not when it comes to ratings. The final numbers for NBC’s primetime coverage last night of the Winter Games are in and the traditionally slow TV night of Valentine’s Day delivered the network its lowest result from Sochi so far. Hosted by Meredith Vieira, NBC’s 8PM – 11PM coverage drew an 11.0/19 national household rating and 19.2 million viewers. The previous low for NBC during this Olympic cycle so far was the first “bonus” night of the XXII Winter Games on February 6. The network got an 11.818 rating and 19.5 million viewers. The highest has been the 17.0/28 rating and audience of 31.7 million that the Opening Ceremony pulled in on February 7. While delivering the second most watched Friday primetime show on any network since the Summer Olympics in the UK two years ago, last night’s ratings were down 17% from the 13.4/23 rating that the comparable night of the Vancouver 2010 games garnered. The coverage out of Vancouver was virtually live, at least for Americans on the East Coast, but put side-by-side with the 11.2/19 that similar tape-delayed night of Torino 2006, Friday’s Sochi games were basically even – as has been the case often throughout these Games so far.
PREVIOUS, 8:57AM:Meredith Vieira received a lot of attention yesterday when it was announced that she would take over NBC’s anchor desk at the Winter Games for at least one night and became the first woman ever to host the network’s Olympics coverage. However the former Today co-host’s stint replacing the still ailing Bob Costas last night did not translate into better numbers for NBC’s tape-delayed primetime package out of Sochi on Valentine’s Day. In early fast nationals, NBC drew 19.08 million viewers and a 4.5/19 rating - the worst the Sochi Games have performed among viewers and adults 18-49 so far. The viewership is down hard from the 23.3 million who watched the comparable night of February 19, 2010 at the Vancouver Olympics. Friday’s result is also a slide of 16% from the 5.4/17 rating the last Winter Games pulled in on its first full Friday of competition four years ago. It’s also an 18% drop from the 5.5 rating of the comparable night in Torino 2006. Up until now, the Sochi games have been beating or matching the the last European held Winter Games on average so far during this cycle.