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NBC finished with a 17.5 rating and 31.1 million viewers for its 17 nights of taped London Games coverage, marking the best audience for the Summer Olympics since the ’96 Atlanta Games. The 17-night average was up 8% and 12%, respectively, from a 16.2 rating and 27.7 million viewers during the '08 Beijing Games. In terms of total viewership across NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo and Telemundo, the London Games drew 219.4 million viewers, up from 215 million four years ago and marking a record for a U.S. TV event. London also marked NBC’s best Olympics in terms of margin of victory over the other three major broadcast TV nets (dating back the the '88 Calgary Winter Games). Sunday night’s Closing Ceremony averaged a 17.0 rating and 31.0 million viewers, up 10% and 12%, respectively, from Beijing.PRIMETIME OLYMPIC RATINGSDayLondonBeijingAthensSydneyAtlanta
Opening CeremonyFri.21.018.814.616.223.6 Night 2Sat.15.813.911.813.117.2 Night 3Sun.19.818.115.414.622.9 Night 4Mon.18.017.616.613.822.9 Night 5Tues.21.820.018.315.527.2 Night 6Wed.17.916.717.314.622.4 Night 7Thurs.21.117.919.314.926.8 Night 8Fri.220.127.116.114.917.9 Night 9Sat.15.917.613.613.319.4 Night 10Sun.17.516.015.816.023.4 Night 11Mon.15.815.816.415.826.4 Night 12Tues.17.616.315.712.421.3 Night 13Wed.16.815.215.313.919.8 Night 14Thurs.13.613.813.814.020.7 Night 15Fri.13.210.512.510.616.1 Night 16Sat.12.610.211.110.515.8 Closing CeremonySun.17.015.511.910.821.817-Night Avg.17.516.215.013.821.6
WEEKEND DAYTIME RATINGS: NBC aired six weekend afternoon telecasts during the Games, averaging 12.1 million viewers, which was up 14% from similar coverage four years ago. The net also saw big gains for morning coverage, aided by this past Sunday’s Gold Medal men’s basketball game. Also boosting morning audience figures was coverage of Andy Murray’s win over Roger Federer in the men’s Gold Medal tennis match. That match on Aug. 5 from 9:00-10:30am averaged a 5.5 rating and 8.2 million viewers. Those figure are higher than any men's Grand Slam final telecast dating back to a 6.2 rating for the Pete Sampras-Andre Agassi final in '02 U.S. Open. The Serena Williams-Maria Sharapova women's Gold Medal match on Aug. 4 was also higher than any Grand Slam final dating back to a 6.1 rating for Venus Williams' win over Serena in the '01 U.S. Open. The U.S.-Spain basketball game averaged 12.5 million viewers, marking the most-viewed Gold Medal game since the ’00 Sydney Games (16.3 million viewers). Sunday’s game was also up significantly from 6.0 million viewers for the same matchup four years ago. Early morning coverage on NBC averaged 5.7 million viewers, with no comparison to Beijing.NBC WEEKEND NON-PRIMETIME AVERAGE OLYMPIC VIEWERS
DAYPARTLONDON (000)BEIJING (000)ATHENS (000) Afternoon12,10010,6009,500 Morning10,5008,0006,000 Late night6,2005,5005,300 Early morning5,700n/an/a
CABLE: Olympic coverage across NBCSN, Bravo, CNBC and MSNBC averaged 716,000 viewers, up 2% from Beijing. During its first time airing Olympic coverage, NBCSN delivered its six top total-day audiences, and 11 of the top 12 days in NBCSN history came during the London Games. Coverage of seven U.S. men’s basketball team contests averaged 2.6 million viewers. The net also saw a boost to MLS coverage, which aired following Olympic coverage on July 28 and Aug. 5. The Galaxy-FC Dallas match (392,000 viewers) and FC Dallas-Timbers (405,000 viewers) mark the net’s most-viewed MLS games to date. Meanwhile, CNBC, which served as the home for boxing, averaged 449,000 viewers for coverage in the 5:00-8:00pm ET slot during the Games, down 22% compared to boxing coverage in the same time slot during Beijing. However, CNBC's average during London marked the net’s best audience in that time period since the Vancouver Games, when the net featured coverage of curling. CNBC typically airs “Fast Money,” “Mad Money” and “The Kudlow Report” during that 5:00-8:00pm period, which garners a much smaller audience. Tennis coverage on Bravo averaged 484,000 viewers (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).
BIG DRAWS FOR NBC: USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand notes NBC’s Olympic primetime average of 31.1 million viewers marks the first show to do so since Fox’ "American Idol" in '06 (USA TODAY, 8/14). ADWEEK’s Anthony Crupi wrote if disgruntled fans “were surprised at NBC’s ratings performance … perhaps no one was more shocked by the Nielsen data than” NBCU President of Research & Media Development Alan Wurtzel. He said that the network’s “momentum was ‘extraordinary,’ especially when one considers the advantages it enjoyed in Beijing.” He said, “There was a certain aura surrounding Beijing that was really seductive (and) there were a lot of events that were live in prime-time. I don’t think anybody thought we would come close to Beijing” (ADWEEK.com, 8/13).
WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER: In L.A., Joe Flint wrote under the header, “London Olympics Allows NBC To Feel Like Winner Again.” NBC needed to “at least show it still has a pulse and the Olympics did that.” For almost three weeks, the net “got a reminder of what it is like to be watched.” After “years of bad ratings, the brass there gets to feel like a winner again.” Hopefully that enthusiasm “won't fade when the Olympic torch is put back in the closet” (LATIMES.com, 8/13). In Miami, Michelle Kaufman names NBC a “winner” of the Olympics, but NBC viewers were losers (MIAMI HERALD, 8/14).
ISSUES: In DC, Lisa de Moraes writes, “As we say goodbye to our London Olympics TV-viewing experience, we leave NBC crowing, proud as a peacock, about its coverage that set digital records. And in the distance, #NBCFail-ites shout: ‘NBC bragging about its record-breaking Olympics TV viewing is like a dictator who’s the only one on a ballot bragging about winning' -- and other bons mots too numerous to mention” (WASHINGTON POST, 8/14). In L.A., Ed Sherman wrote NBC shows its Olympic franchise “is stronger than ever,” but it “wasn’t a completely smooth run for the network.” The issue of tape delay “figures to be a heated topic again.” The net also “has to solve glitches that hampered live streaming of events at NBCOlympics.com.” Too often, the “picture froze at crucial times on various digital devices.” Ultimately, NBC “still needs to overcome the perception issues.” Despite the high ratings, there “was significant criticism over NBC's overall package.” NBC Sports Group Chair Mark Lazarus said, “Some of it is fair and we are listening” (LATIMES.com, 8/13). But DAILY VARIETY’s Brian Lowry wrote what critics “overlook is how comfortable the audience has become with consuming media at their own pace, on their own terms” (VARIETY.com, 8/11).
PROBLEM SOLVED IN SOCHI? USA TODAY’s Hiestand writes the location of the ’16 Games “largely solves Olympic TV’s biggest bugaboo -- time-zone differences -- since Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is just an hour ahead of Eastern time.” It is “harder to say what lessons from NBC’s London coverage … can be applied to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.” Sochi is nine hours ahead of Eastern time, so “there will be an even bigger gap between when key action occurs and when it finally airs in traditional NBC prime time.” Hiestand: “Will NBC keep the prime-time formula? The network hasn’t flatly ruled out airing key action when it happens and then re-airing it in prime time.” But given the strong primetime ratings, even as NBC’s “digital Olympic traffic increased, there’s little reason to change the network’s prime-time formula” (USA TODAY, 8/14).
CLOSING COMMENTS: The AP’s Frazier Moore noted NBC “cut away from its coverage of the Olympics closing ceremony" to air the premier of "Animal Practice” aired at 11:00pm ET Sunday night, followed by local news. The net then "returned at midnight to finish with an eight-minute medley by the Who.” Host Bob Costas then “delivered an Olympics postscript before signing off after just 35 minutes in all” (AP, 8/13). CABLEFAX DAILY writes, “The net live streamed the entire closing ceremony earlier Sun. Cue viewer outrage. Twitter handle #nbcfail got one last major workout” (CABLEFAX DAILY, 8/14).
TEACH ME HOW TO DOUGIE: 76ers coach Doug Collins served as the main analyst for the men's Olympic basketball tournament, and in N.Y., Bob Raissman asks whether Collins is a “defacto coach or consultant for Team USA" and whether he was an objective analyst. The line at the Olympics "between broadcaster and cheerleader often gets blurred.” Raissman: “This thing with Collins is strange. Maybe it’s about how close he feels to Olympic hoops because his son, Chris, is on the coaching staff. And Collins has never gotten over [his squad's] controversial 51-50 loss to the Soviet Union in the final of the 1972 Munich Games.” He was “always known as a detail-oriented guy during his broadcasting career.” During stints with TNT and NBC, Collins had “to be encouraged to show more personality.” But a lack of enthusiasm “wasn’t the problem during the Olympics” for Collins (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/14).
Salt Lake City was the top-rated U.S. market for NBC’s primetime coverage during the London Games, marking the seventh straight Olympics the city has been at the top of the list. Salt Lake City averaged a 25.0 rating for London, up 8% from its average during the '08 Beijing Games. Denver tied Salt Lake City in ’08 for the lead among all markets, but finished ranked fourth for London. Denver’s 22.1 rating was down 4% from Beijing. K.C. ranked second for London with a 22.5 rating after not ranking in the top 10 for Beijing. Milwaukee, Norfolk, West Palm Beach and Richmond also made the top 10 after missing out four years ago. Two North Carolina markets -- Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham -- ranked last among all U.S. markets for London. The chart below lists local ratings over the 17 nights of NBC primetime Olympic coverage during the London Games (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).U.S. LOCAL MARKET RATINGS FOR
NBC'S PRIMETIME OLYMPIC COVERAGERK
MARKETRAT.RK MARKETRAT.1 Salt Lake City25.026t Knoxville18.22 K.C.22.526t Tulsa18.23 Milwaukee22.331t Cleveland-Akron18.14 Denver22.131t Jacksonville18.15 Columbus (OH)21.933t Seattle-Tacoma17.96 Norfolk21.233t Louisville17.97 Indianapolis20.935 Orlando-Daytona Beach17.88t San Diego20.836 Cincinnati17.78t West Palm Beach20.837 Philadelphia17.610 Richmond20.638 Dallas-Ft. Worth17.411 Albuquerque-Santa Fe20.339t Detroit17.312 Portland (OR)20.039t San Antonio17.313 Minneapolis-St. Paul19.941 Memphis17.214 Oklahoma City19.842 Baltimore17.115t Atlanta19.743 Pittsburgh16.915t Austin19.744 Boston16.817t S.F.-Oakland-San Jose19.645t Houston16.717t DC19.645t Hartford-New Haven16.717t Sacramento19.647t Birmingham16.620 Nashville19.447t Buffalo16.621 Ft. Myers-Naples19.449 Las Vegas16.522 St. Louis19.050 Greenville-Spartanburg16.223 L.A.18.851 Miami-Ft. Lauderdale16.124 New Orleans18.552t Tampa-St. Petersburg15.825 Greensboro18.452t Providence-New Bedford15.826t N.Y.18.252t Dayton15.826t Chicago18.255 Raleigh-Durham14.926t Phoenix18.256 Charlotte13.9
MARKET WATCH: In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley writes WTMJ-NBC had an “average rating of 22.3 or 202,394 households.” A total of 37% of TV sets "on at the time locally during those nights were tuned to the Olympics.” The “lowest-rated night here was Thursday, when the Olympics went up against” a Packers-Chargers preseason game on ESPN and WISN-ABC (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 8/14). In Houston, David Barron notes the market “traditionally has been a drag on NBC viewership, and the local market's average prime-time rating of 16.7 once again trailed the national average.” But the ratings were up 8% from a 15.4 rating in '08, and tied for 45th among the 56 major markets, "up from 54th four years ago.” KRPC-NBC GM Jerry Martin said that “viewership in prime time exceeded the station's pre-Olympics estimate to advertisers" by 5% and the late-night average “exceeded local estimates by 33 percent, and the overnight replay of the prime-time broadcast topped estimates by 38 percent” (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 8/14). The DETROIT NEWS reports the Lions-Browns exhibition game Friday was “No.1 among Metro Detroit households with a 11.0 rating.” Meanwhile, the Olympics “received a 10.1 rating” and the Tigers-Rangers game “received a 10.4 rating.” The Lions game was the “No. 1 program among men ages 18-49 (7.0 rating) and men ages 25-54 (9.3 rating)” (DETROIT NEWS, 8/14).
Bell Media reported an average of 7.5 million Canadians watched the London Games Closing Ceremony Sunday, becoming the most-watched Summer Olympics broadcast on record in Canada. The live 4:00pm ET broadcast was watched by an average of 5.1 million viewers on CTV alone, more than three times the audience of the ‘04 Athens Games Closing Ceremony. Canadians watched a total of 662 million hours of coverage throughout the Olympics, with the average viewer consuming almost 21 hours of content during the event. An additional 3.4 million hours of content was viewed at CTVOlympics.ca and RDSolympiques.ca, while more than 1.1 million CTV Olympics London 2012 and RDS olympiques pour Londres 2012 Apps were downloaded. And 31.9 million Canadians, or 95% of the population, watched coverage on Consortium channels from the start of the Games, with viewing up a 88% over the '08 Beijing Games (Bell Media). The NATIONAL POST’s Eric Koreen noted there were “complaints about” the Canadian Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium “missing events here and there.” There were “nits to pick, but with three major English-language networks at its disposal, the consortium got to most of the marquee events in a timely fashion.” With the CBC “set to take over in Sochi in 2014, there are a few pointers it should take to heart from London.” Koreen suggested the CBC “keep it local, keep it live,” and “provide context.” The network also should “get smart about getting social,” as well as “show viewers their options” (NATIONAL POST, 8/13).
ACROSS THE POND: The PA’s Anthony Barnes reported more than 50 million people "in the UK watched TV coverage of London 2012 -- equivalent to 90% of the population.” Figures show that 51.9 million people "watched at least 15 minutes of the BBC's Olympic broadcasts during the fortnight-long sporting contest, making it probably the country's biggest national TV event.” The Closing Ceremony “drew a peak audience of 26.3 million viewers on BBC1 and across BBC digital channels.” An average “of 23.2 million was watching the three hour-plus show … amounting to four-fifths of TV viewers” (PA, 8/13). The FINANCIAL TIMES’ Ben Fenton writes despite “sporadic criticism -- some viewers complained that interviewers were being too tough on defeated athletes, while others said the coverage was too jingoistic -- Roger Mosey, head of the BBC’s Olympics output, said the public service broadcaster had enjoyed a successful games.” Mosey said that the 50 million viewers are “much higher than our expectations.” Also, audience research for the BBC “found an average approval rating of 92 per cent for its Olympic programming” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/14).
SETTING RECORDS: Telemundo reported it more than doubled its Beijing audience during its coverage of the London Games among viewers 18-49. Telemundo broadcasts reached 22.5 million viewers through its 16 days of coverage, 42% more than during the Beijing Olympics (Telemundo).
FOR MORE: For more Olympic ratings information from various countries, please see today's issue of SBD Global.
U.S. Gold Medal-winning swimmer Michael Phelps has signed a deal to appear in the "latest Louis Vuitton Core Values campaign,” according to Tamara Abraham of the London DAILY MAIL. Phelps “stars alongside former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina,” who prior to the London Games had held the distinction as the most decorated Olympian with 18 medals. Phelps now holds that title with 22. The caption beneath the ad is written in Italian but translates to, “Two extraordinary paths. The same fate.” The campaign was released at the same time as another image of Phelps, wearing “trunks and goggles in a bath, with an LV-monogrammed bag beside the tub.” Louis Vuitton indicated that the ad “is designed to look like it too is for” the fashion label, but said "it is not an official Louis Vuitton image." The official new advertisement is “the latest in an ongoing series, all shot by celebrated U.S. portrait photographer Annie Leibowitz” (London DAILY MAIL, 8/14). Octagon Managing Dir of Olympic & Action Sports Peter Carlise, who reps Phelps, said that his client's schedule is "booked for the next three months and includes both down time and business appointments." In Baltimore, Chris Korman noted Phelps is "planning a world tour that will involve promotions for many of his major sponsors," which include Speedo, Visa, Omega, Head & Shoulders, Subway, Under Armour, Hilton, HP, Master Spas, 505 Games, PureSport and Topps. Phelps will "headline Under Armour's continued push into China with several appearances there." He also will "be a part of Subway's marketing push in Baltimore, wearing Ravens colors" (Baltimore SUN, 8/12).
TRANSITIONING TO RETIREMENT: Phelps has stated his intentions to retire and Baker Street Advertisers Exec VP & Exec Creative Dir Bob Dorfman writes Phelps “dives into his greatest challenge: staying relevant with consumers while retired from competition.” Phelps is currently “earning around $5-7M a year” from his marketing partners and “should be able to maintain that level in the short term, and will likely focus on extending his current deals, expanding his brand globally, and making the transition from sportsman to businessman” (THE DAILY). The Baltimore SUN's Korman writes one of the “most interesting questions about Phelps -- it played out repeatedly in conversations I had with experts last week -- is how long he’ll stay relevant as an athletic pitchman.” Korman: “Will kids in six years be compelled by his name to buy Speedo or Under Armour gear?” (Baltimore SUN, 8/14). YAHOO SPORTS' Erick Galindo wrote, "He remains a marketable name and his association with the pool is the stuff of legends" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 8/13).
brandRapport Sport Marketing Dir Nigel Currie said Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is “far and away heads above everybody else” in terms of marketability and earning potential coming out of the London Games. Currie said Bolt, who is the only man to win Gold Medals in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 100-meter relay in successive Olympics, could earn approximately $23.5M a year off the track. Bolt has not yet decided whether he will race in the '16 Rio de Janeiro Games, but Currie said, “The secret is to not announce your retirement whether you intend to go on to the next Olympics or not, you keep the mystery alive. There’ll be lots of speculation and everything can keep going for another four years” (“Worldwide Exchange,” CNBC, 8/13). Baker Street Advertising Exec VP & Creative Dir Bob Dorfman in his Summer Olympics Sports Marketers’ Scouting Report noted U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps is the “most medaled Olympian,” but Bolt is the “most marketable.” Bolt's three Gold Medals in London “secured his status as the World’s Fastest Human, and could be worth an additional $3-5M in annual endorsement income.” Bolt’s “crowd-pleasing charisma, showmanship and Ali-esque bravado are a refreshing change from the stiff, toe-the-line intensity of most other Olympic athletes." Meanwhile, Gold Medal-winning gymnast Gabby Douglas “comes home as America’s most marketable female Olympian,” and she will be “hard to miss in the next few months.” U.S. swimmer Ryan Lochte “can’t beat Phelps in medals, but easily wins in looks.” And combined with his “easy-going, surfer dude personality -- and unguarded accessibility -- Lochte’s a marketers’ dreamboat” (THE DAILY). Sheryl Shade, Douglas’ agent, said Douglas has already gotten several endorsement offers. Shade: "We’ve got book deals, movie deals, consumer products, the fashion industry, which is usually a hard one to crack.” NBC's Chris Jansing noted Douglas’ “recognizability is through the roof” and Shade “estimates Gabby could make” $2-3M this year ("Nightly News," NBC, 8/13).
REAPING THE GOLD: N.Y.-based sports marketing firm Skylight Entertainment President Robert Tuchman said that U.S. Gold Medal-winning gymnast Aly Raisman probably has the highest potential of any Boston-area Olympian "to earn big money with endorsement deals.” Tuchman said, “She’s in the perfect demographic, too: She seems like a family-type girl, with not a lot of risk involved. She has a huge upside.” In Boston, Dan Adams reports Raisman has “retained the same top sports marketing team used by popular swimmer Michael Phelps, Virginia-based Octagon.” Raisman’s coach Mihai Brestyan said, “I would just tell her, ‘You are on top of the world, you are an Olympic gold medalist, you have the momentum -- use it before it’s gone.’” Meanwhile, Kayla Harrison, the first American to win a Gold Medal in judo, can “expect a much smaller payday, partly because her sport is much less known.” Harrison’s coach Jimmy Pedro said that Harrison has “yet to receive any major offers," but that she plans to "strategize with advisers this week.” Pedro acknowledged that it will be “tougher to find endorsements as a judo champion than as a teen gymnast.” Pedro: “Certainly, she’s not a multimillion dollar commodity, but at the same time, I think somewhere in the vicinity of $100,000 to $250,000 is a realistic opportunity for her” (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/14).
GREAT OPPORTUNITIES IN BRITAIN: In London, Jerome Taylor writes Great Britain is “in love with its sporting heroes and advertisers are desperate to get in on the action while the euphoria still lasts.” British Gold Medal-winning heptathlete Jessica Ennis, who already has a deal with P&G, looks “set to continue being ‘the face of the Games.’” The same “goes for other Olympic veterans such as Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Ben Ainslie, who have proven that they can win medals at multiple Olympics.” But brands will be “equally keen to sign up comparatively new heavy hitters such as Mo Farah, Laura Trott, Katherine Grainger, Gemma Gibbons and Jade Jones.” Advertising agency Inferno Exec Creative Dir Owen Lee said, "I think the women will do particularly well. It's been a very female-focused Games. A few weeks ago they might have walked down Oxford Street unnoticed" (London INDEPENDENT, 8/14). In London, Kevin Eason reported Farah, who won both the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters, has "unlocked the safe to riches that will be worth at least [US$3.14M] in endorsements and appearance fees over the next year." Farah also is "likely to find himself at the centre of a bidding war among organisers of marathons around the world, including London, who will want to lure the biggest draw in distance running to put some Olympic gloss on their events" (LONDON TIMES, 8/13).
WAIT UNTIL WINTER, CANADA: Canada landed just one Gold Medal during the Games, and the CP’s Linda Nguyen wrote it is "unlikely” any Canadian Olympians will be “cashing in on their Summer Games success.” A “lack of public interest in amateur sports that are so revered during the Olympics -- like diving, kayaking and gymnastics -- has historically resulted in corporate Canada passing over Olympians, even ones with gold medals hanging from their necks” (CP, 8/13).
A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME: The FINANCIAL TIMES’ Emily Steel writes Olympic athletes are “hoping to extend their peak period for endorsement earnings through their increased popularity on social media.” An athlete’s following on social media sites has “quickly become key in determining” endorsement deals. Steel notes athletes are “not permitted to mention sponsors on social media without a special waiver until a period surrounding the Games" expires tomorrow. Marketers that endorse Olympic athletes “are expected to release a flurry of ads to congratulate athletes when that blackout period ends.” Athletes also are “expected to hit social media, thanking their sponsors.” Pace Sports Management Dir Ricky Simms, who represents Bolt, said, “Brands always ask how many followers an athlete has. For many companies, this is the way they want to reach their target customers.” Simms said that Bolt had “recently released a new mobile game and is in discussions about using his signature celebratory pose on products ranging from luxury brands to toiletry items and Jamaican-inspired food products” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/14).
The ritual of Gold Medal-winning Olympians hitting the talk show circuit is well under way, with Jay Leno, David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon all welcoming members of Team USA to their shows last night. Gymnast GABBY DOUGLAS appeared on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” alongside First Lady MICHELLE OBAMA, where she let Obama and Leno hold one of her Gold Medals. Leno asked, “How did you get through the metal detector at the airport?” He noted Douglas was a two-time Gold Medalist at just 16 years old and said, “I have no conception of this being 16-years-old. I was working at McDonald’s.” Douglas: “It (didn’t) really sink in on the podium but ... it’s definitely sunk in now.” After the competitions were over, Douglas said to celebrate, “I splurged on an Egg McMuffin at McDonald’s.” Douglas said she was “definitely” going to compete at the '16 Rio de Janeiro Games, to which Leno said, “So it’s four years till your next Egg McMuffin.” Leno handed the Gold Medal back to Douglas and said, “Here is your medal. I don’t even deserve to hold this. Here you go. Thank you so much. Gabby, we’re all so proud of you” (“The Tonight Show,” NBC, 8/13).
WEATHER REPORT: Douglas and her four gymnastics teammates were on NBC's "Today" this morning, and NBC’s Al Roker said they were going to “help him with the fierce five-day forecast.” The five members each gave the forecast for their hometowns, with ALY RAISMAN saying of Needham, Mass., “Today is going to be a high of 89 and partly sunny, so go outside, go to the beach and get tanned.” KYLA ROSS told residents of Aliso Viejo, Calif., “You might need your sunglasses today because it’s going to be warm, sunny and breezy.” Later in the broadcast, the “Fierce Five” answered questions from three small, aspiring gymnasts, with one asking are they ready to stop training and be normal teenagers. Douglas said, “We’re just regular teenagers. We like talking about boys and shoes” ("Today," NBC, 8/14).
JUST THE TEN OF US: Decathlete ASHTON EATON appeared on CBS' "Late Show” last night, with host David Letterman saying, “The decathlon, this is the epitome of true athleticism, this man excels in everything else that people specialize in individually." Eaton said, “It's pretty typical of decathletes that you never choose to do the decathlon, it kind of chooses you. And after doing as many as I've done, I would never advise someone to try it.” Halfway through the interview, Eaton said to Letterman, “You have the wrong guest actually.” Letterman asked, “What happened?” Eaton: “I do the food decathlon. I eat 10 different items, as much as I can. I don't do 10 sports. Wrong guy.” Letterman replied deadpanned, “They don’t give a Gold Medal for comedy.” Letterman handed Eaton a discus and asked, “Why is this an event, honest to God?” Eaton: “Do you actually want to know the history?” Letterman replied, “Well, I ... no.” When asked if he wanted to wear the Gold Medal, Letterman said, “Again, it’s one of these deals where I couldn’t feel like a bigger loser.” Eaton: “I was wearing the U.S. uniform. This is America’s Gold Medal” (“Late Show,” CBS, 8/13). Meanwhile, Leno in his monologue congratulated Eaton for winning the Gold and said, "Hopefully, he will not do what many great American decathletes have done. You know, get bad plastic surgery and marry a Kardashian" ("The Tonight Show," NBC, 8/13).
THE THUNDER ROLLS: KEVIN DURANT and JAMES HARDEN, who both were members of the men's basketball team in London, appeared on NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” last night, and Fallon said, “We are really proud of you guys. Thank you so much for doing this. This is awesome. Are you still partying?” Durant: “Of course.” Fallon asked, “Do you know where you are? You’re in New York.” Durant: “I figured that out when I landed.” Both Durant and Harden were low-key during the interview so Fallon said jokingly, “You guys are both so jet-lagged. You have no idea where you are.” The men’s U.S. basketball team stayed at a hotel and not at the Olympic Village during the Games, with Fallon saying, “I pictured like a ‘Real World’ where you guys are all in bunk beds.” Durant: “I wanted to stay at the Village. I just wanted to get the whole experience" (“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” NBC, 8/13).
LADIES FIRST: Beach volleyball player MISTY MAY-TREANOR and swimmer DANA VOLLMER appeared on ABC’s “GMA,” where May-Treanor said winning the Gold in London with partner KERRI WALSH JENNINGS, their third Olympic Gold Medal, was the “sweetest one because we knew we were kind of nearing the end.” Vollmer said she is “going to train for Rio, but I need to take kind of a mental break." May-Treanor said of the dominance by female athletes at the London Games, “It just says a lot about the state of sports and the young women out there have such wonderful role models now to look up to" (“GMA,” ABC, 8/14).
KEEP HOPE ALIVE: U.S. women's soccer G HOPE SOLO promoted her new book, “Solo: A Memoir of Hope,” during an appearance on "Today." Asked if she was still excited about winning the Gold Medal, Solo said, “I don’t know what time zone I’m in right now.” NBC’s Savannah Guthrie said the book “is really personal” and is “painful.” Solo: “The process of writing the book wasn’t easy. It felt like I was going to counseling sessions every day when I sat down with my author. But I’m happy, I’m proud of it. It is my life and I don’t shy away from my life.” Solo said she has this Gold Medal “so I do believe in happiness,” but not “everything is going to be perfect" (“Today,” NBC, 8/14).
DIVING HEAD FIRST: Diver DAVID BOUDIA appeared on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” this morning and talked about how former Gold Medal-winner GREG LOUGANIS gave the U.S. divers “his wisdom (and) his experiences." He said there is "no better mentor to have than that.” When asked if he would compete at Rio, Boudia said, “I’m predicting that I might make a comeback. I’m going to take four months off. I’ve never done that in my career … and re-evaluate and maybe see Rio in the future” (“Fox & Friends,” Fox News, 8/14).
UPCOMING APPEARANCES: The gymnastics team will complement its "GMA" visit with an appearance on "Late Show" tonight and Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" tomorrow night (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/14). Swimmer Ryan Lochte is scheduled to be on "The Tonight Show" Thursday (Daytona Beach NEWS-JOURNAL, 8/14).
The U.S. female Olympians went to the London Games “hungry to succeed,” and they “responded with a historic performance,” according to David Wharton of the L.A. TIMES. Female athletes for the first time comprised the "majority of the U.S. team and ... won more gold and more total medals than the men.” They have “sparkled in prime time with Gabrielle Douglas claiming the all-around gymnastics title and the soccer team defeating archrival Japan in the gold-medal final.” They “dominated in the pool and shone on the track.” Even in “traditionally male domains such as boxing and judo, they have led the way.” But the U.S. contingent's success is “not the only reason these Games are being hailed as an important step toward gender equity in sport.” Women represented a “record 44% of the nearly 11,000 athletes” at the Games. This summer marked the “first time that every nation brought at least one female athlete, the International Olympic Committee pressuring Qatar, Brunei and Saudi Arabia to open their previously all-male teams” (L.A. TIMES, 8/12). USA TODAY’s Christine Brennan wrote women were the “big winners,” as they “dominated the U.S. team in every way: More women than men made the team, and they won far more gold medals than the American men.” If the U.S. women comprised their own nation, they “would have finished ahead of every other country’s total gold medal count except China and tied Great Britain” (USA TODAY, 8/13). In Newark, Steve Politi wrote for three weeks in London, women “produced our best story lines and pushed our medal count to the top of the standings.” Politi: “Be it on the beaches or the track, in stadiums or on tennis courts, the Games belonged to them” (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 8/13).
WEIGHING IN: WNBA President Laurel Richie said, “What I’ve been so impressed with is the range of sports that women are engaged in. Women are no longer being pigeonholed into certain sports. We can compete in all of them” (WASHINGTON TIMES, 8/12). ESPNW.com’s Julie Foudy wrote, “Officially, we call it the London Games, but perhaps we should call it the Women's Games” (ESPNW.com, 8/12). NBCOLYMPICS.com’s Matthew Kitchen noted this was the Games that “moved that needle forward in a dramatic way” for women, and it “was just the start” (NBCOLYMPICS.com, 8/13). SI.com’s Ann Killion wrote the “Girl Power celebration has continued” in London and the story of these Games “is that something right is happening in our collegiate athletic and youth programs that are the primary feeder system for Olympic sports” (SI.com, 8/12). In Detroit, John Niyo wrote in the “end, the London Olympics were about the girls.” The Games were “about the women asserting themselves,” and reminding everyone “that sport can be an equal-opportunity endeavor” (DETROIT NEWS, 8/13). Also in Detroit, Jo-Ann Barnas wrote under the header, “The Title IX Olympic? You Better Believe It!” (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 8/12).
GARNERING ATTENTION: SI.com’s Kelli Anderson wrote “waves of great players” on the U.S. Gold Medal-winning women’s basketball team “failed to draw much media interest.” While “hordes of journalists attended every practice and game of the U.S. men's team, the women saw just a handful on a regular basis.” The female players “weren't doing something for the first time, as the U.S. women's water polo team did in winning a gold medal; they didn't leave outcomes in doubt, as the U.S. women's soccer team did in beating Canada in the final seconds of their semifinal.” Their “only hook was reliability,” and reliability “doesn't sell papers or generate clicks” (SI.com, 8/11). In Colorado Springs, David Ramsey noted U.S. women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma has “wondered why his team is not more loved while the U.S. women’s soccer team rolls happily along as the nation’s sweethearts.” The soccer team has "won through hearts through drama.” Ramsey: “Peril holds enormous power to seize interest, and the soccer team always seems on the edge of disaster. … Peril is foreign to America’s basketball team. At one point in Saturday’s victory, the Americans led France, 69-37, and the arena was virtually silent” (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 8/12).
The FINANCIAL TIMES' Kortekaas, Warrell & Jacobs report the Paralympics are “set to be the first sell-out in the event’s 52-year history as Britons scramble for another chance to experience London’s Olympic summer.” Organizers reported a “surge in ticket sales for the event, which starts on August 29, on the back of huge public enthusiasm for the Olympics.” About 2.1 million Paralympic tickets “have been sold so far -- beating the 1.8m total for the 2008 Beijing games -- including more half a million in the past month.” A further “400,000 tickets are being released this week, amid a rush of interest from people who missed out on the Olympics and others desperate for a second dose of games action” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/14). In London, Gordan Rayner notes the Paralympics have “proved just as maddening for sports fans as trying to buy Olympic tickets thanks to a glitch in the official ticketing website.” Thousands of people who “logged on to the website” tried to buy advertised tickets “only to be told after inputting their payment details that the tickets were no longer available” (London TELEGRAPH, 8/14).
STEPPING UP? In Hong Kong, Peter Simpson wrote LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe "has been the face of the Games." His singular vision and determination to inspire millions around the world "has been branded into our conscience." It should not be surprising then that Coe is being "touted for the top IOC job." With IOC President Jacques Rogge’s term to end next year, Coe may not have enough backing to be "a natural shoo-in." However, it would be wise not to rule him out of the IOC race. For Coe, the end of the London Games might just be the "start of the home straight and a winning sprint to Lausanne" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 8/13). The GUARDIAN’s Gibson wrote Coe is “likely to have already planned his next move with precision.” And he will “do so from a position of strength, surfing a level of public approval he has not known since his track days.” Gibson: “No other Olympic Games has been so umbilically linked with one man” (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 8/13).
RAISING THE FLAG: The Olympic flag yesterday “touched down on Brazilian soil, marking the start of four years of preparations ahead of the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.” Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes called it an "important moment" for the city and for Brazil at large. But a “handful of demonstrators gathered outside the airport to protest against expulsions connected with Olympic projects and others tied to the 2014 soccer World Cup, which Brazil is also hosting” (AP, 8/14). Meanwhile, CBS’ Bob Schueffer noted there is "already unhappiness there about the preparations” for the '16 Games. , CBS’ Seth Doane said of the 6.5 million people "who live in Rio, it’s estimated around 20% live in favelas, or slums." Rio de Janeiro Municipal Housing Secretary Jorge Bittar “insists that the government-funded housing” that will house people whose homes are demolished prior to the Games “is a long-planned effort to revitalize these slums.” Bittar denied people were being relocated because of the Olympics. But Doane noted the “glossy materials they handed to us showcase the new housing under the headlines ‘Olympic Legacy’ and ‘Rio 2016’” ("Evening News,” CBS, 8/13).
TOURISM COUNTS: London trade group UKinbound announced the Olympics “brought less tourist money to recession-hit Britain than businesses had hoped for … with a majority of tourist companies reporting losses from last year.” UKinbound said that a “survey of more than 250 tour operators, hoteliers and visitor attractions found that tourist traffic fell all over Britain, not just London.” The business reported that visitor numbers “were down by 10 to 30 percent compared to last year” (AP, 8/13).
With final thoughts and comments around the XXXth Olympiad in London, THE DAILY looks back at some of the best quotes, comments, tweets and headlines from our issues during the fortnight:
MONDAY, JULY 30
NBC’s Matt Lauer, on Queen Elizabeth II’s role at the Opening Ceremony: “Tonight, she’s a Bond girl.” Beijing '08 Olympic Opening Ceremony co-Dir Wang Chaoge, on the Opening Ceremony: "On one hand, I didn't want it to exceed my work; on the other hand, I hoped to see another show that amazes the world. Now, both my wishes are fulfilled. Objectively speaking, there's no way that you can compare the two ceremonies. We each had what the other didn't.” Kuwaiti swimmer Faye Sultan tweeted, "Empty seats at the Olympics?!! And my parents can't get tickets to watch me swim?! Ridiculous." Time magazine’s James Poniewozik: “NBC time-delay coverage is like the airlines: its interest is in giving you the least satisfactory service you will still come back for.”
TUESDAY, JULY 31
NBC Sports Chair Mark Lazarus: “I think what we’ve proven is that the American viewing public likes the way we tell the story and wants to gather in front of the television with their friends and family -- even if they have the ability to watch it live either on television or digitally.” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Dejan Kovacevic: “NBC’s executives think people will willfully tune out everything just to better enjoy their prime-time programming? That rates somewhere between arrogant and astoundingly stupid.” Newark Star-Ledger’s Steve Politi, on Missy Franklin: "Get ready, America: The London Games are about to feel a whole lot like a Justin Bieber concert, with energy and giggles and something so often missing from what is supposed to be a three-week celebration of the world’s best amateur athletes. Innocence." U.S. high jumper Jamie Nieto, on Rule 40: "We're professional athletes, and we don't like being treated like we're amateur athletes."
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1
Dick Franklin, on his daughter, Missy, passing up sponsorship deals: "If there were to be some horrendous amount of corporate money thrown at her, then you'd have to sit down with her and say, 'Honey, I don't know that you understand what $1 million or $2 million is but that could be your children's education. That could be your house when you get married.'” London Independent’s Guy Adams: "My Twitter account appears to have been un-suspended. Did I miss much while I was away?" Andy Roddick on Wimbledon: “It’s different. It’s weird for us. We have a history at this venue that’s not quite this.” The AP's Paul Haven wrote under the header, "Olympics Awash In Twitter, For Better Or Worse."
THURSDAY, AUGUST 2
SPORTS ON EARTH's Will Leitch wrote, "NBC isn't doing a disservice to its viewers. It's just ignoring the ones who don't matter." CNBC’s Kelly Evans said, “If anyone has won the Olympics, I would say it’s Boris Johnson.” Goodwin Sports Management’s Nate Jones: "Why do these Olympics feel like one giant SNL skit? Maybe it's the announcers?"
FRIDAY, AUGUST 3
K.C. Star’s Sam Mellinger, on Gabby Douglas: "The face you're going to see everywhere now features a smile that can win over a crowd and an exuberance they might put on a Wheaties box." espnW’s Beau Dure: "Could someone please write about beach volleyball as a sport? Not just as a fun time and the incongruity of it next to 10 Downing Street? SI’s Steve Rushin: “If you don't think the Olympics inspire children then tell me why I'm driving around trying to buy a volleyball net.”
MONDAY, AUGUST 6
NBC’s Bob Papa, on Olympic boxing: “Everybody here should look at themselves and realize why this sport is considered a joke.” Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, on not being able to bring some accessories onto the track with him: "It has been different from Beijing. There are lots of rules, weird, silly rules that don't make any sense to me." DEADSPIN.com headline to Jere Longman’s piece on Lolo Jones: “What Did Lolo Jones Ever Do To The New York Times?”
TUESDAY, AUGUST 7
Newsday’s Glenn Gamboa: "No matter what the reality is, it's pretty clear what story the NBC editors want to tell about 17-year-old Mustafina and her competitiveness with America's newest sweetheart, 16-year-old Douglas. ... There's already plenty of drama in the competition, NBC. No need to manufacture more and, FYI, The Cold War ended a while ago." Michael Phelps: “The biggest thing is I can look back at my career and say I’ve done everything exactly the way I wanted to and if you can say that, I’m satisfied.” USA TODAY's Robert Bianco reviews NBC London Live Extra mobile app under the header, "NBC Makes Big Strides With Its Mobile Games."
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8
BDA Sports Management COO Bill Sanders: "Best thing about the Olympics? Athletes go out on top. Swan songs for May/Walsh, Phelps etc. Hate to see stars compete past their prime." Lolo Jones, on the verge of breaking down, said on the “Today” show, “The fact that they just tore me apart was just heartbreaking. They didn’t even do their research. They called me the ‘Anna Kournikova of track.’ I am the American record-holder indoors. I have two world indoor titles, and just because I don’t boast about these things, I don’t think I should be ripped apart by media. I laid it out there. I fought hard for my country and it’s just a shame I have to deal with so much backlash when I’m already so brokenhearted as it is.”
THURSDAY, AUGUST 9
Former NBC Sports Chair Dick Ebersol: "People talk about how we should treat this like sports. You know, we're getting an 18 rating some nights. Do you know what rating we would get if this was not under the banner of the Olympics? We'd be lucky to get a 1 rating for some of these sports. ... We're in the television business. We're here to make great television." IOC President Jacques Rogge: "All in all I would say these are very good Games and I am a very happy man." L.A. Times' Bill Plaschke: "Sitting in Wembley Stadium for first time...congrats, Brits...this place is spectacular...most majestic super-stadium I've ever seen."
FRIDAY, AUGUST 10
NBC broadcaster Mike Gorman, on announcing handball: “I looked at that and said, ‘This is a crazy sport. I’d love to do this.’ So the first team handball game I ever saw that was unfinished was the first one I broadcast.” U.S. MF Carli Lloyd said of the attendance at the Gold Medal match, "Eighty-thousand people for a women's final? That says a lot for women's soccer. The whole thing is a dream come true." CBS’ Mark Phillips said, “These have become the women’s emancipation Games. It’s the first time every country has women on its team.” Bolt: “I'm a legend now."
MONDAY, AUGUST 13
LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe: “We know more now, as individuals and as a nation, just what we are capable of.” The London INDEPENDENT’s James Lawton: “These were the Games you couldn’t fail to love. The Games that seduced cold-headed calculation of cost and reward with their sheer vitality. The Games that took on astonishing life.” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said, "We're disappointed in boxing. We want to do better, particularly in men's boxing. By saying disappointed in boxing, I don't mean the people. I mean, we're disappointed that we didn't do better in boxing, because I know that we can do better and we have to focus on how we do that." USOC Chair Larry Probst said, "The American public has high expectations for our Olympic team. There was a lot of opinion about where we would finish. ... We are extremely proud of what our athletes accomplished. We like to come in first, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”