NBC Gets Olympics Ratings Gold

Aug 17, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Even though the Olympics aired only three days during the week of Aug. 9-15, NBC easily won the prime- time ratings race, dominating the other networks in total viewers, adults 18 to 49 and adults 25 to 54, according to Nielsen Media Research.

NBC’s Friday night coverage of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in Athens attracted 56 million viewers, who watched all or part of the three-hour broadcast. The opening ceremonies scored a 14.6/27 household rating and share and averaged 8.0/25 among adults 18 to 49.

Sunday night’s Olympics coverage won the week among households, garnering a 15.4/26 rating and share. Saturday night’s coverage came in third for the week in households (opening ceremonies took the silver) with an 11.8/23.

Among total viewers for the week NBC pounded the competition with 15.1 million, more than double the next two networks combined-CBS with 7.7 million viewers and ABC with 6.2 million viewers. Fox came in fourth with 4.7 million viewers, while UPN took the fifth spot with 2.54 million viewers, followed closely by The WB with 2.47 million viewers. NBC also handily won the week in adults 18 to 49 and adults 25 to 54, scoring more in both demos than double CBS and ABC combined.

CBS wasn’t about to concede the week to NBC, however. Reality show “The Amazing Race” was the week’s top non-Olympics program in adults 18 to 49, and comedy “Everybody Loves Raymond” was, according to CBS, “the most-watched program not emanating from Greece.” CBS, which consistently has been outperforming its competition throughout the summer, pointed out it was the only network with summer gains in adults 18 to 49 (+4%), viewers (+265,000) and households (+2%). Five of the week’s top 10 programs among viewers 2-plus were on CBS.

Fox’s “Trading Spouses” continued to perform well on Tuesday, winning its 8 p.m. time period among adults 18 to 49 (4.4/14). Wednesday’s “Teen Choice Awards” gave the network a nightly win in teens and adults 18 to 34 and a tie for the top spot among adults 18 to 49.

ABC won Monday night among total viewers and all three of the key adult demos, thanks to the AFC-NFC Hall of Fame game, and its Thursday “Extreme Makeover” double run of repeats gave the network its best Thursday night numbers among total viewers (7.0 million) and adults 18 to 49 (2.4/7) since May.

UPN’s “Amish in the City” was second in adults 18 to 34 (1.9/7) in its Wednesday time period and posted week-to-week growth in both adults 18 to 34 and adults 18 to 49.