August 4, 2012

The Sked: Olympics Ratings — Averages through Eight Nights

More articles by »
Written by: Mitch Metcalf
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

And so it begins.  As the competition turns away from the pool and the gymnastics arena to the track & field stadium, the nightly ratings begin to drift down.  Last night looks like an 8.1 rating with Adults 18-49 in the fast nationals for NBC prime time — still an enormous number for a Friday night in August, just not the double-digit rating NBC had received most of the first week.  If NBC had formatted the 8:00 half hour without national commercials and started the rating at 8:30 (like it does most Saturday nights during the Olympics), the rating would be an 8.5 or higher, more in line with the Beijing rating for the same night in 2008.

The Olympic average to date is still an enormous 10.8 rating, still well ahead of the recent non-U.S. summer games.  (It would be a 10.9 to date if NBC had played with its formatting as described above.)  From this point to the end of the Games, Beijing’s average dropped 1.1 rating points, while Athens dropped 0.9 rating and Sydney fell 0.8 rating.  In percentage terms, Beijing’s average dropped 10.3% from now until the full 17-night average, Athens dropped 9.6%, and Sydney dropped 8.1%.  If the London average drops 9.5% from its current level, the full 17-night average for 2012 will be a 9.8 rating — a terrific number that defies all laws of ratings gravity in 2012.

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.