August 6, 2012

The Sked: Olympics Ratings through Ten Days

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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NBC changed format a bit Sunday night and aired Michael Phelps: America’s Golden Champion from 7-8 pm, followed by traditional Olympic coverage from 8 pm-midnight, including the men’s 100M dash, gymnastics individual apparatus finals, and beach volleyball.  The night started slowly, as it usually does, with a 5.5 Adult 18-49 rating in the 7:00 half hour, building to a 6.4 at 7:30, as NBC said goodbye to the all-time Olympic medal winner.  The network will certainly miss Phelps, as Ryan “Hey, I pissed in the Olympic pool!” Lochte does not appear to be ready to take his place.  On the positive side, the audience will appreciate the attention hogging Olympic mom, Debbie Phelps, giving it a rest.  “Michael, I want to see Rio!”, she proclaimed before Phelps made the retirement official.  Oy.

The 8 pm hour perked up to an 8.3 and 8.7 by half hour, mostly with beach volleyball.  9 pm jumped again to 10.1 and 11.3 by half hour, with a lot of gymnastics, while 10 pm rose to 12.0 and 12.3 for mostly track and field coverage.

Usually, NBC starts its nightly rating at 7:30 pm on the second Sunday of the games.  If that is the case, NBC is on track for a 9.9 rating in prime time on the tenth night of Olympic coverage, a bit higher than the same night in Beijing and Athens but a notch below the otherwise lower-rated Sydney games.

Through ten nights, the Olympics are averaging a 10.5 rating, still four tenths of a rating point ahead of Beijing, a full rating point ahead of Athens, and fully 1.4 rating ahead of Sydney.


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.