July 29, 2012

The Sked: Summer Olympics Ratings Night 2 — Solid But Not Record Breaking

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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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The second night of the London Summer Olympics (and the first night of competition featuring Beach Volleyball, Men’s Gymnastics Qualifying, and Swimming — including the official changing of the guard as Michael Phelps failed to make the medal stand in his first try while the younger Ryan Lochte took the gold) averaged an 8.2 rating with Adults 18-49 in prime time Saturday.   This fast nationals rating, subject to slight revision, is slightly higher than the same night in Beijing and equals the recent high for the night (from Athens 2004).

Combined with the fantastic Opening Ceremony rating Friday night, the 2012 London Games now average a 10.3 rating through two nights, well ahead of the pace for the last three summer Olympics.

Tonight will be a big test, as Swimming continues, Diving begins, and team Gymnastics continues.  The very high ratings in Beijing on the first Sunday and Tuesday nights (nights 3 and 4) were fueled by Michael Phelps fever.  If Ryan Lochte continues to win, we’ll see if U.S. television viewers have the same enthusiasm for him.  However, most of the important swimming races in 2008 were live in the United States (as NBC convinced the swimming federation and the IOC to start the competition in the morning in China).  This time, the races will generally be on tape, a few hours old — with the results well publicized on the internet and competing networks.

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.