NBC’s Olympics Go Out With a Whimper: Closing Night Is Way Down From Vancouver’s Numbers

Feb 24, 2014  •  Post A Comment

NBC’s final night of the Winter Olympic Games from Sochi, Russia, closed out what has been a ratings juggernaut for the network with somewhat less-than-juggernaut numbers, based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo.

TVbytheNumbers.com reports that the closing ceremony delivered a 3.3 rating in adults 18-49 from 8:30-10:30 p.m. Sunday — well below the 5.5 turned in by the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010. The 90 minutes of prime-time Winter Olympics coverage leading up to the ceremony pulled a 2.6, and leading out from the closing ceremony, NBC’s preview episode of its new show "Growing Up Fisher" dipped to a 2.0.

The NBC lineup was still easily strong enough to top the broadcast competition in Sunday night prime, with an especially strong advantage in total viewers. NBC’s average of 13.5 million total viewers was more than twice the average of its closest competitor.

Second-place Fox appeared to benefit from a six-hour rain delay for the Daytona 500 NASCAR race, which pushed stock car racing’s premier event into prime time. The network’s race coverage from 8-11 p.m. averaged a 2.5 rating in viewers 18-49 — the best number for non-Olympics programming among the broadcasters.

Third-place ABC saw its two-hour "The Proposal" bring home a 1.5 in the 18-49 demo, with the rest of the network’s prime-time lineup filled out by repeat programs.

CBS rolled out the premiere of "The Amazing Race: All-Stars," which earned a 1.6 average in 18-49 — the lowest rating ever for a season premiere of the show. A fresh installment of "60 Minutes" opened prime time with a 1.2 average.

CBS wrapped up Sunday prime with two hours of repeats, to notably low numbers: a 0.6 in viewers 18-49 for "The Mentalist," and a 0.4 for "The Good Wife."

Numbers for prime time overall show NBC comfortably in front with a 2.9 in adults 18-49, ahead of Fox (2.0), ABC (1.3), Univision (1.2) and CBS (1.0). NBC had a big lead in total viewers, averaging 13.5 million to top Fox (6.3 million), CBS (5.5 million), ABC (5.1 million) and Univision (2.9 million).

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