February 24, 2014

SKEDBALL: Winter Olympic Ratings Update

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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Last night’s final night of coverage from Sochi on NBC was in three parts.  Sochi Gold from 7:00-8:30 pm (mostly an excellent documentary on the still fascinating Nancy Kerrigan-Tonya Harding controversy in 1994) averaged a 2.6 adult 18-49 rating (peaking at a 3.1 rating in the 8:30 half hour).  The actual Closing Ceremony coverage from 8:30-10:30 averaged a 3.2 rating (starting at a 3.7 rating but ending at a 2.9 rating int he final half hour).  The night was capped by an utterly non-Olympic preview of Growing Up Fisher at 10:30, which averaged a meager 2.1 rating.

The 3.2 rating for the two hours of the Closing Ceremony fell below the 3.8 for Turin’s in 2006, well below the live coverage from Vancouver in 2010 (5.5) and nowhere near the gold standard of a domestic Closing (13.1 in Salt Lake).

Another under-performing night brought Sochi’s total primetime average down to a 5.5 adult 18-49 rating, six tenths below Turin (6.1) and a full rating point behind Vancouver (6.5).  Recall that through the first week, Sochi (6.6) was actually slight ahead of Turin (6.5) over the comparable period.  But Sochi utterly collapsed, partly because the Ladies Figure Skating nights (normally among the strongest rated nights) were complete duds.  The last two Winter Olympics have shown this pattern, and there will be much gnashing of teeth in the halls of the USOC, US Figure Skating, NBC Sports and major sponsors about how to improve and fix US figure skating.

Sochi Winter Olympic Track thru Sun 2014 02 23

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.