August 6, 2016



Let the games begin?

DEMOGRAPHIC DETAIL: For each broadcast program (or hour segment), the chart below displays preliminary key advertiser demographics (adult 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 ratings), audience skews (women 18-49, men 18-49 and adults 50+ shares) and total viewership (thousands of people over the age of 2).

Ratings analysis and a detailed Olympics breakdown follow the chart.

Fast Demo 2016 Aug FRI.05

NBC:  The network has been heavily touting the idea that the RIO SUMMER OLYMPICS would be the most profitable in history, but the OPENING CEREMONY got things off to a start that was shaky at best.  As the chart below details, the preliminary rating was just 7.7, the lowest in 20 years.  The really scary part for NBC is that with a mild exception in 2004, the Opening Ceremony ratings have been higher than the average for the full Olympics, by 10-20%.  That suggests the full average may fall below a 7 rating, and although NBC doesn’t make its minimum guarantees to advertisers public, that may mean a flood of “makegoods” (i.e., free commercial time) for advertisers whose numbers don’t meet the guarantees.  (In fairness, a full picture of viewership in 2016 must also include viewers online, although those numbers are less reliable, and those viewers are more difficult for the network to monetize than on-air ratings.)

ABC:  The only network to attempt any kind of competition with the Olympics started with 0.6 for a SHARK TANK rerun, then another 0.6 for WHAT WOULD YOU DO (down 0.2 from last week), and yet another 0.6 for 20/20 (down 0.1).

CBS:  Reruns, all at 0.5.

FOX:  Reruns at 0.4-0.5.

CW:  Reruns, all at 0.2.

The networks don’t typically program Saturday nights anyway, so the OLYMPICS have no competition tonight.  On Sunday, most of the networks will air reruns, but CBS will have a new BIG BROTHER (and BRAINDEAD). 

RIO OLYMPIC RATINGS So Far to Previous Summer Games:

Summer Olympics 2016 thru 08 05

CABLE RATINGS: Come back Monday for detailed demographic ratings for top cable programs from this day.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."