In Depth

NBC Scores Its Most Dominant Prime-Time Win for a Regular-Season Week in People Meter History

Press release from NBC, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014:

NBC’s coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics has led the network to its most dominant in-season week in the history of Nielsen’s current People Meter sample, which dates back to September 1987.

According to “live plus same day” viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research, NBC averaged a 5.5 rating, 16 share in adults 18-49 and 21.2 million viewers overall for the week of Feb. 10-16, giving NBC its best weekly averages in both categories since the week of Aug. 6-12, 2012 during the London Olympics.

NBC’s advantages over the #2 broadcast network in 18-49 (+293%, 5.5 rating vs. 1.4 for #2 Fox) and total viewers (+299%, 21.2 million vs. 5.3 million for #2 CBS) are NBC’s biggest for an in-season week in People Meter history and excluding Super Bowl weeks, are the biggest for any network in People Meter history.

NBC also beat the Big 4 competition combined by the biggest margins for any network, excluding Super Bowl weeks, in People Meter history.

NBC’s seven nights of Olympics coverage claimed the week’s top seven rankings among primetime programs on the Big 4 networks in adults 18-49, adults 18-34, adults 25-54, total viewers and other key measures.

Through 21 weeks of the season, NBC ranks #1 among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and other key demos. It’s the first time NBC has ranked #1 this late in the season in 10 years (since the 2003-04 season).

NBC’s 3.1 rating in adults 18-49 is the net’s top average at this point in the season in six years (since a 3.2 in 2007-08). Versus one year ago, NBC is up 15% season to date in adults 18-49 (3.1 vs. 2.7).

In total viewers, NBC ranks #2 for the season with an average of 10.1 million viewers, which is its biggest overall audience 21 weeks into the season in 10 years (since 2003-04, 10.9 million). Versus one year ago, NBC is up 30% season to date in total viewers (10.1 million vs. 7.8 million).

Primetime averages for the week of Feb. 10-16 in adults 18-49 are: NBC, 5.5/16; Fox, 1.4/4; ABC, 1.0/3; CBS, 0.9/3; and CW, 0.3/1. In overall total viewers, the weekly averages were: NBC, 21.2 million; CBS, 5.3 million; Fox, 4.4 million; ABC, 3.7 million; and CW, 0.9 million.

Season-to-date averages are: NBC, 3.1/9; Fox, 2.8/8; CBS, 2.5/7; ABC, 2.1/6; and CW, 0.8/2. In overall total viewers, the season averages are: CBS, 11.1 million; NBC, 10.1 million; Fox, 8.3 million; ABC, 7.3 million; and CW, 1.9 million.

NBC highlights for the week of Feb. 10-16:

Monday: Feb. 10 Olympic coverage (6.5/17 in 18-49, 22.4 million viewers overall from 8-11:02 p.m. ET) delivered the most dominant primetime performance for a broadcast network on a February Monday in the 26-year history of Nielsen’s current People Meter sample in adults 18-49 (+35%, 6.5 vs. a combined 4.8 for ABC, CBS and Fox) and total viewers (+27%, 22.4 million vs. a combined 17.6 million). The 22.4 million viewers was up 6% versus the opening Monday of the last European Winter Olympics (21.1 million for Torino in 2006).

Tuesday: Sochi coverage (6.6/18 in 18-49, 23.7 million viewers overall from 8-11:03 p.m. ET) was up 29% versus the first Tuesday of the prior European Winter Olympics (18.4 million for Torino in 2006) and up 17% versus the network’s live (ET/CT) coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Games (20.3 million viewers). Tuesday’s primetime telecast outrated the combined ABC-CBS-Fox competition in 18-49 averages from 8-11 p.m. (3.1) by 113% and topped those networks combined in total viewers (23.8 million vs. 13.7 million) by 74%.

Wednesday: Winter Olympics coverage (5.6/16 in 18-49, 20.8 million viewers overall from 8-11:10 p.m. ET) swept the night’s primetime half-hours in 18-49, total viewers and other key measures. The Wednesday telecast jumped 16% versus the corresponding night for the previous European Winter Olympics (17.9 million for Torino in 2006).

Thursday: The Feb. 13 primetime Olympics telecast on NBC (5.9/17 in 18-49, 22.9 million viewers overall from 8-11:03 p.m. ET) grew 18% versus the corresponding Thursday of the 2006 Torino Games (19.4 million), marking the seventh night in a row, dating back to the Opening Ceremony, that the Sochi coverage topped results for the prior non-North American Winter Olympics in Torino.

Friday: Friday coverage from Sochi (4.5/15 in 18-49, 19.1 million viewers overall from 8-11 p.m. ET) beat the combined ABC-CBS-Fox competition in 18-49 by 73% (4.5 vs. a combined 2.6).

Saturday: NBC’s primetime Olympics telecast (4.4/14 in 18-49, 17.1 million viewers overall from 8:30-11:01 p.m. ET) topped the combined ABC-CBS-Fox competition in adults 18-49 by 300% (4.4 vs. a combined 1.1).

Sunday: NBC’s primetime telecast from Sochi (4.9/13 in 18-49, 21.3 million viewers overall from 7-11 p.m. ET) once again out-rated the combined Big 4 competition for the night in 18-49 and total viewers, beating their combined 18-49 rating by 96% (4.9 vs. a combined 2.5).

WEEKLY AVERAGES
Average rating, share and audience in each category

ADULTS 18-49
NBC 5.5/16, 7.0 million
Fox 1.4/4, 1.8 million
ABC 1.0/3, 1.3 million
CBS 0.9/3, 1.2 million
CW 0.3/1, 0.3 million
Each rating point equals 1.27 million viewers

ADULTS 25-54
NBC 6.7/17, 8.0 million
Fox 1.8/4, 2.1 million
CBS 1.4/4, 1.6 million
ABC 1.3/3, 1.5 million
CW 0.3/1, 0.4 million
Each rating point equals 1.20 million viewers

TOTAL VIEWERS
NBC 7.2/18, 21.2 million
CBS 1.8/5, 5.3 million
Fox 1.5/4, 4.4 million
ABC 1.3/3, 3.7 million
CW 0.3/1, 0.9 million
Each rating point equals 2.95 million viewers

SEASON TO DATE
Average rating, share and audience in each category

ADULTS 18-49
NBC 3.1/9, 3.9 million
Fox 2.8/8, 3.6 million
CBS 2.5/7, 3.2 million
ABC 2.1/6, 2.6 million
CW 0.8/2, 1.0 million
Each rating point equals 1.27 million viewers

ADULTS 25-54
NBC 3.7/9, 4.4 million
CBS 3.4/9, 4.0 million
Fox 3.2/8, 3.9 million
ABC 2.5/6, 3.0 million
CW 0.8/2, 1.0 million
Each rating point equals 1.20 million viewers

TOTAL VIEWERS
CBS 3.8/10, 11.1 million
NBC 3.4/9, 10.1 million
Fox 2.8/7, 8.3 million
ABC 2.5/6, 7.3 million
CW 0.6/2, 1.9 million
Each rating point equals 2.89 million viewers

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