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Volume 25 No. 24
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Cable, Digital Olympic Viewership Helping Lift NBC Primetime

With more primetime offerings available via cable and streaming during the Pyeongchang Games, NBC is seeing significant lift to its broadcast TV number from those options. During Sunday night's coverage, which featured the figure skating team event, among others, NBC Sports drew a total audience delivery of 26.0 million viewers across all platforms, which is the number the network has used to sell ads during these Games. The traditional NBC broadcast, which saw all skiing competitions cancelled due to high winds in Korea, accounted for 22.7 million viewers of that figure, with cable and digital providing a 15% bump (up from a 13% bump on Saturday and an 8% bump on Thursday). NBCSN on its own averaged 3.0 million viewers on Sunday night, which marked the net's best audience in that window since a NASCAR Cup Series race in '15 at Bristol. Coverage on NBCSN included U.S. skier Jamie Anderson winning a Gold Medal in the women's slopestyle event, as well as mixed doubles curling and men's biathlon. NBC Sports Digital properties posted an average minute audience of 309,000 viewers, which is the company's best primetime figure for Pyeongchang to date. While the combination of broadcast, cable and digital figures may be more reflective of current consumption methods, NBC Sports' figure on Sunday night was still its lowest audience for the first Sunday of Winter Games competition since Turin in '06. The Sunday total audience delivery was just a few hundred thousand viewers below the same window in Sochi four years ago and Vancouver eight years ago. Meanwhile, Salt Lake City on Sunday was the top primetime market for NBC's coverage for the fourth night in a row (25.9 local rating). Denver was No. 2 at a 24.5 rating, while Milwaukee was No. 3 at a 23.9. Minneapolis-St. Paul, which led all markets four years ago, ranked No. 9 on Sunday with a 20.7 (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor). ADWEEK's A.J. Katz wrote NBC execs will "likely be content" with the audience figures for the first weekend of the Pyeongchang Games. Primetime viewership has "moved closer" to Sochi on a night-to-night basis with the total audience delivery number (ADWEEK.com, 2/12).

WINTER OLYMPICS PRIMETIME VIEWERSHIP FOR NBC
NIGHT
DAY
TURIN ('06)
VANCOUVER ('10)
SOCHI ('14)
PYEONGCHANG* ('18)
Bonus
Thurs.
n/a
n/a
20,016
17,200
Opening
Ceremony**
Fri.
22,200
32,641
31,690
28,300
2
Sat.
23,239
26,189
25,115
24,200
3
Sun.
23,244
26,372
26,323
26,000
NOTES: * = TAD number includes broadcast, cable and digital viewing in primetime. ** = Pyeongchang was first time Opening Ceremony was streamed live (hours before NBC telecast).
Download the
NBC Winter Olympics Viewership Trend