Olympics Opener Wins Friday for NBC; ABC Grabs Gold on Sunday

Feb 13, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The telecast of the Winter Olympics opening ceremony won Friday night for NBC in the adults 18 to 49 demographic, with highlights from the games winning the network Saturday as well. But on Sunday ABC’s dramas outperformed NBC’s third night of Olympics coverage.

NBC’s three-hour telecast of Friday’s opening ceremony scored a 6.6 preliminary rating in the demo, a number that included live-plus-same-day viewing, according to Nielsen Media Research. That was more than double its closest competitor, ABC, which scored a 3.0 for the night in the demo and a 3.8 for its 8 p.m. (ET) “Dancing With the Stars” results show, the second-highest-rated show for the night. Fox’s two-hour “Arrested Development” season finale hit a series low for an original telecast with a 1.8.

Despite having the best Friday night ratings since the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, NBC saw the opening ceremony drop 56 percent from the telecast of the opening ceremony for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

NBC also easily won Saturday night with a 6.2, its best Saturday performance since the 2004 Olympics. Sunday was a different story, with NBC’s Olympics coverage (7.2) coming in third for the night behind the second half of a two-part “Grey’s Anatomy” (11.2) and “Desperate Housewives” (9.9) on ABC. Paired with a two-part “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” at 7 p.m. (3.8) and 8 p.m. (6.1), ABC won Sunday with a 7.7, giving NBC the silver medal for the night.