August 7, 2012

The Sked: Olympics Ratings — Into the Final Week

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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One week to go for the Summer Olympic Games in London, which end with the greatest anti-climax of all:  the Closing Ceremony Sunday night.  The ratings in the final week suffers from viewer fatigue and a dearth of marquee events.  Last night was a perfect example: a preliminary 8.1 Adult 18-49 rating in prime time for NBC Monday night, the lowest second-Monday in recent Summer Olympic history.  The rating could very well be adjusted up to around an 8.5 if NBC is able to pull the 8:00 half hour out of the average (if national commercials did not start until sometime after 8:30).  

Whether it’s an 8.1 or an 8.5 rating, it’s still a huge audience size for any network at any time of the year.  A lot of people are seeing the promos for NBC’s new shows, including the terribly unfunny spots for Go On, Guys with Kids, Animal Practice and The New Normal.  All the spots end with the bizarrely non-sensical “We (Peacock) Comedy” slogan, which should be retired before the Olympic flame is snuffed out Sunday night.  

The official numbers for Friday-Sunday are in, generally up about three tenths of a rating point per night.  The Olympic average through Monday night (nights 1-11) is now a 10.4 rating (possibly a 10.5 rating if Monday’s nightly rating is adjusted up significantly).  London 2012 is still pacing ahead of Beijing by almost half a rating point.  Over the final six nights, the London average will probably decline about a tenth of a rating point or two per night, destined for a final 17-night average around a 9.6 rating.

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.