NBCUniversal Dominates With Most Robust Winter Games Presentation in History

Feb 26, 2018  •  Post A Comment

Press release from NBC, Feb. 26, 2018:

NBC Olympics’ exclusive coverage of the 2018 PyeodngChang Olympics was the most robust presentation of the Winter Games in media history… and NBCUniversal dominated the competition.

Among the highlights:

  • NBCUniversal presented a record 2,400+ hours of Winter Games coverage.
  • The PyeongChang Olympics helped solidify NBC’s rank as #1 in total viewers at any point during the TV season for the first time since it won the 2001-02 crown 16 years ago, according to Nielsen.
  • NBC Olympics averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of nearly 20 million viewers in primetime over 18 nights, according to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics.
  • NBC Olympics’ presentation of the PyeongChang Olympics ranks as the most dominant Winter Games on record.
  • NBCSN hit major marks (details below).
  • NBC Sports Digital set Winter Games records for total and live streaming minutes.
  • Olympic coverage created major benefits for the NBCUniversal portfolio.

Mark Lazarus, Chairman of NBC Broadcasting and Sports: “These Winter Games are once again profitable for NBC Sports Group, and validate our investment in the Olympics. With the most comprehensive coverage plan in Winter Games history, our team of thousands took on this Olympic-sized undertaking from PyeongChang (2,000-plus), Stamford (1,000-plus), New York, Englewood Cliffs and Denver. The team’s collective performance allowed us to present an Olympics that was both engaging and memorable. At a time when there is more entertainment than ever for consumption, the Olympics offered an unmatched communal experience. We look forward to Tokyo and beyond.”

PYEONGCHANG OLYMPICS ARE MOST DOMINANT WINTER GAMES EVER IN PRIMETIME: From the opening night of coverage on Feb. 8, NBC Olympics produced the most dominant Winter Games on record. With a Total Audience Delivery of 19.8 million viewers – NBC Olympics’ primetime performance more than doubled the combined primetime viewership of ABC, CBS and FOX (9.8 million). NBC Olympics’ Total Audience Delivery measured broader PyeongChang Olympics consumption by calculating average minute viewing across broadcast, cable, and digital.

The NBC-only primetime average viewership of 17.8 million beat by 82% the average of the combined broadcast networks to rank as the most dominant Winter Games on record.


Winter Olympics       NBC-only viewership TAD         ABC, CBS & FOX combined Olympic Advantage TADAdvantage

2018 PyeongChang* 17.8 million                  19.8 million 9.8 million                82%           102%

2014 Sochi                  21.3 million                 —               14.9 million                 43%           N/A

2010 Vancouver         24.4 million                 —               22.3 million                 9%             N/A

2006 Torino                20.2 million                 —               32.8 million                 -38%         N/A

2002 Salt Lake            31.9 million                 —               23.9 million 33%        N/A

1998 Nagano**           25.3 million                 —               35.2 million                 -22%         N/A

*The 2018 PyeongChang Olympics is the first Winter Games where live primetime coverage was available side-by-side on broadcast, cable and via live stream.

**CBS televised Nagano, so advantage is over ABC, FOX & NBC combined.

(Note: Feb. 23-25 viewership for other broadcast networks based on affiliate time period metric.)


  • Ranked #1 on 74 consecutive Olympics nights.
  • Exceeded the combined viewership of ABC, CBS & FOX on 35 consecutive Olympic nights.
  • Won 438 consecutive Olympic half hours in primetime.


Winter Olympics      # of Nights NBC Olympics Was Top-Rated Program

2018 PyeongChang 18 of 18

2014 Sochi                  18 of 18

2010 Vancouver         14 of 17

2006 Torino                8 of 17


  • NBCSN posts most-watched month ever – With a Total Day viewership average of 768,000 viewers through Feb. 25 (based on all available data), NBCSN is on pace to deliver its most-watched month ever.
  • #1 Sports Cable Network — NBCSN is pacing to rank as the most-watched sports cable network in February in Total Day viewers.
  • Two most-watched late-night shows in network history – With the thrilling U.S. women’s hockey team’s gold medal victory on Wednesday (2.9 million viewers) and the historic U.S. men’s curling gold medal win on Friday (1.6 million viewers), NBCSN delivered its two most-watched late-night shows ever.


  • NBC Olympics’ “Prime Plus” late night show averaged a Total Audience Delivery of 8.4 million viewers – marking the most-watched Winter Olympics late night show in 30 years (1988 Calgary Olympics).


Winter Olympics       Late Night Show Viewership

2018 PyeongChang 8.4 million*

2014 Sochi                  5.6 million

2010 Vancouver         4.8 million

2006 Torino                5.0 million

2002 Salt Lake            6.7 million

1998 Nagano              3.5 million

1994 Lillehammer      6.2 million

1992 Albertville          8.0 million

1988 Calgary              9.9 million

*Total Audience Delivery

NBC SPORTS DIGITAL DELIVERS BEST WINTER GAMES EVER: Powered by Playmaker Media, NBC Sports Digital live streamed every event of the PyeongChang Olympics via NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app, and presented the first-ever live stream of an Olympics Opening Ceremony. Among the highlights:

  • NBC Sports Digital live streamed 1.85 billion minutes – more than four times the 420 million minutes for the Sochi Games.
  • NBC Sports Digital’s total 2.17 billion streaming minutes more than tripled Sochi.
  • On Sunday, Feb. 11, NBC Sports Digital set a single-day Winter Games record with 176.3 million live stream minutes.
  • On Wednesday, Feb. 21, more than 525,000 uniques watched the live stream of the U.S.-Canada women’s gold medal game – which began after 11 p.m. ET – to rank as NBC Sports Digital’s fifth-largest hockey audience ever, beating all NHL, IIHF, and college hockey games, and trailing only four high-profile games from the Sochi Olympics in more favorable time periods.

RECORD COVERAGE FOR A WINTER GAMES: NBCUniversal platforms – NBC (176 hours), NBCSN (369), CNBC (46), USA Network (40.5) and NBCOlympics.com/NBC Sports app (1,800+) – offered the most in-depth coverage in Winter Olympics history, totaling 2,400+ hours.

RATINGS & VIEWERSHIP SUCCESS FOR NBC NEWS & AFFILIATE NEWS PROGRAMMING: NBC’s national news programming as well as local affiliate newscasts were the leaders in all dayparts. TODAY and NBC Nightly News were both onsite in PyeongChang throughout the Olympics.

  • TODAY was the #1 ranked morning show for both weeks of the PyeongChang Olympics posting its best Winter Games advantage over GMA since Vancouver 2010. TODAY won outright – in total viewers, A25-54 and A18-49 – to mark its best winning record in nearly six years and continued to be the top morning news program across-the-board season-to-date.
  • NBC Nightly News was the #1 evening news program for both weeks of the PyeongChang Olympics and continued its longest winning streak in over four years.
  • Meet the Press was the #1 Sunday affairs program during the Winter Games and held its best lead over This Week and Face the Nation in six years among total viewers and its best lead over Face the Nation in key demo viewers in seven years.
  • Local weekday newscasts on NBC-owned television stations and affiliate partners enjoyed household ratings increases compared to the prior four weeks. Household ratings for late local news jumped 56%, and local early morning news ratings increased 10%.

BIG LIFT FOR “A.P. BIO” FOLLOWING CLOSING CEREMONY: The post-Closing Ceremony episode of “A.P. Bio” has grown by +2.8 million viewers, or +89%, versus the show’s preview on Thursday, Feb. 1 (5.888 million viewers vs. 3.117 million at 9:31 p.m.) and +75% in adult 18-49 rating in 18-49 (1.4 vs. 0.8).

“TONIGHT SHOW” BOOST FOLLOWING OPENING CEREMONY: “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” following the Opening Ceremony delivered an 18% increase in total viewers versus the night of the Rio Opening Ceremony – averaging 4.662 million persons versus 3.943 million on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016, during the Rio Games. In addition, it marked “Tonight’s” most-watched, regularly scheduled edition since Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015, and most-watched Friday telecast in three years, since Feb. 20, 2015.


  • Snap’s content, which included Our Stories, daily Publisher Stories, two Shows, and the debut of its new Live feature that streamed the top moment of NBC Olympics’ broadcast coverage each day, reached more than 40 million unique users in the U.S., 90% under the age of 35.
  • The NBC-Vox Media podcast partnership delivered nearly 500,000 downloads of “The Podium,” the daily Olympics podcast, and peaked as the #1 sports podcast and #3 overall podcast on iTunes.
  • Peloton streamed four live rides from its cycling studio inside the NBC Olympics broadcast studio in PyeongChang, which have been taken over 136,000 times.
  • The Uber app delivered tens of millions of impressions of custom-curated NBC Olympics content.
  • Musical.ly, via its content creators in PyeongChang, delivered more than 25 million engagements around the Winter Games.
  • GIPHY, which published NBC Olympics athlete GIFs, delivered 404 million total views.
  • Mobile GIF search engine Tenor published NBC Olympics GIFs across its integrations with popular messaging apps, delivering 1.7 million GIF shares and 109 million total views.
  • The Olympics on NBC garnered more than 273 million cross-channel engagements on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+ and Wikipedia.
  • Across social channels, NBC Olympics delivered 241 million Total Video Views across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
  • On Twitter, there have been 13.7M organic mentions of #PyeongChang2018, #Olympics, #NBCOlympics, #BestofUS, and #WinterOlympics, more than tripling Sochi.
  • There have been 135M minutes of NBC Olympics video consumption across Facebook and YouTube.

Source: ListenFirst


NBC Olympics’ Total Audience Delivery provided an 11% lift over the NBC-only audience (chart below). The 2018 PyeongChang Olympics was the first Winter Games with live primetime side-by-side coverage on broadcast, cable and live streaming. The NBC-only 18 primetime nights of PyeongChang averaged 17.8 million viewers with a 10.1/18 household rating.


Date          Total Audience Delivery NBC-only viewership TAD Lift

Thur. 2/8   17.2 million                 16.0 million                 8%

Fri. 2/9*     28.3 million                 27.8 million                 2%

Sat. 2/10    24.2 million                 21.4 million                 13%

Sun. 2/11   26.0 million                 22.7 million                 15%

Mon. 2/12  22.3 million                 20.3 million                 10%

Tues. 2/13 22.6 million                20.5 million                 10%

Wed. 2/14 19.2 million                 17.0 million                 13%

Thur. 2/15 19.3 million                 16.2 million                 19%

Fri. 2/16    19.2 million                 16.6 million                 16%

Sat. 2/17    16.1 million                 14.5 million                 11%

Sun. 2/18   18.2 million                 16.3 million                 12%

Mon. 2/19  18.6 million                 16.3 million                 14%

Tues. 2/20 20.5 million                 17.5 million                 17%

Wed. 2/21 16.4 million                 14.1 million                 16%

Thur. 2/22 17.6 million                 15.2 million                 16%

Fri. 2/23    14.0 million                 12.9 million                 9%

Sat. 2/24    13.5 million                 11.7 million                 18%

Sun. 2/25* 14.8 million                 14.8 million                 —

Average    19.8 million                 17.8 million                 11%

*Opening & Closing Ceremonies (no competition & no NBCSN side-by-side coverage)


PYC 2018 Sochi 2014** PYC 2018               Sochi 2014**

Day           Viewership                 Viewership                 HH Rating                  HH Rating

Opening Thur. 17.2 million          20.0 million                 9.7 rating   11.3 rating

First Fri.*  28.3 million                 31.7 million                 14.9 rating 17.0 rating

First Sat.   24.2 million                 25.1 million                 13.1 rating 13.9 rating

First Sun.  26.0 million 26.3 million 14.2 rating              14.4 rating

First Mon. 22.3 million                 22.4 million                 12.7 rating 12.8 rating

First Tues.                  22.6 million                 23.7 million                 13.0 rating 13.7 rating

First Wed.                  19.2 million                 20.8 million                 11.2 rating 12.1 rating

Mid. Thur. 19.3 million                 22.9 million                 11.4 rating 13.4 rating

Mid. Fri.    19.2 million                 19.2 million                 10.9 rating 11.0 rating

Mid. Sat.   16.1 million                 17.1 million                 9.0 rating   9.6 rating

Mid. Sun.  18.2 million                 21.3 million                 10.2 rating 12.1 rating

2nd Mon.   18.6 million                 23.5 million                 10.9 rating 13.8 rating

2nd Tues.  20.5 million                 18.9 million                 12.1 rating 11.2 rating

2nd Wed.  16.4 million                 20.2 million                 9.7 rating   12.2 rating

Final Thur.                  17.6 million                 20.3 million                 10.4 rating 12.2 rating

Final Fri.   14.0 million                 14.9 million                 8.1 rating   8.8 rating

Final Sat.  13.5 million                 13.3 million                 7.7 rating   7.8 rating

Final Sun.*                  14.8 million                 15.2 million                 8.4 rating   8.7 rating

Average    19.8 million 21.3 million              11.3 rating 12.2 rating

*Opening & Closing Ceremonies (no competition & no NBCSN side-by-side coverage)

**NOTE: The 2014 Sochi Olympics had no simultaneous live streaming and no competing primetime Olympic cable coverage. Both of those platforms are included in Total Audience Delivery for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.


  1. Salt Lake City 21.1/39
  2. Denver 20.2/36
  3. Minneapolis 17.5/32
  4. Milwaukee 17.1/28
  5. San Diego 17.0/32
  6. Kansas City 16.8/27
  7. Seattle 16.7/31

T8. Portland                16.5/30

T8. Sacramento         16.5/30

  1. Austin 15.8/28
  2. West Palm Beach 15.5/24
  3. Buffalo 15.1/24
  4. Richmond 14.7/23

T14. Fort Myers         14.5/23

T14. Washington, D.C. 14.5/26

T16. Albuquerque       14.3/23

T16. St. Louis             14.3/23

  1. Columbus 14.2/23
  2. Los Angeles 14.2/27
  3. Dayton 14.0/22
  4. Las Vegas 13.9/24
  5. Pittsburgh 13.8/22

T23. Providence         13.7/23

T23. Tulsa                  13.7/20

  1. Hartford 13.1/21

Local metered market data represents NBC/NBCSN in primetime and includes the NBC West Coast encore and excludes sustainers.

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