NBC’s Olympics coverage continued to rack up huge ratings in prime time Sunday night, leading to historic lows elsewhere on the dial.
TVbytheNumbers.com reports that NBC averaged a 9.1 rating in the key 18-49 demo for the four hours of prime time, according to Nielsen overnights. Figuring in to that number was the 7 p.m. special “Michael Phelps: America’s Golden Champion,” which pulled a 5.9 average.
The heart of NBC’s coverage on the ninth night of the London Games was the 8-11 p.m. stretch, which averaged a 10.5 in viewers 18-49 — up 14% from the 7:30-11:30 p.m. coverage on the same night from Beijing four years ago.
Most of the other networks avoided trying to compete directly, with Fox airing all repeats and CBS settling for just a fresh hour of “Big Brother.” That effort produced the night’s best non-Olympics number, a 2.1 average rating in 18-49.
ABC bravely put up three hours of fresh programming, and got swatted down for it. “Secret Millionaire” at 8 p.m. sank to a series-low 0.8 in viewers 18-49, off a hefty 47% from the show’s previous fresh episode. The network’s two-hour “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition” at 9 p.m. could manage only a 0.7, down 50% from the previous new episode and a series low.
For prime time overall, NBC led by a wide margin with its 9.1 average rating in the 18-49 demo, followed by Fox (1.2 average), CBS (1.0), Univision (0.9) and ABC (0.8). Total viewers saw another large gap, with NBC averaging 29.2 million to CBS’s 4.6 million, ABC’s 3.2 million, Fox’s 2.7 million and Univision’s 2.7 million.