[08/18/08 - 02:17 PM]
Olympics Mid-Games Report: NBC's Beijing Success Boosts Viewership Across All NBC Universal Platforms
NBC spins the numbers for Sunday, August 17.

[via press release from NBC]


Olympic Coverage Boosts NBCU Cable Viewership; NBC "Nightly News" & "Today" Increase Leads over Competition

NBCOlympics.com on MSN Serves 40.7 Million Video Streams, More Than 750 Million Page Views, More than 36 Million Uniques

BEIJING - Aug. 19, 2008 - More than 196 million viewers have watched the Beijing Olympics on the networks of NBC Universal through the first 10 days, already making it the fourth most watched television event in U.S. history, only behind the complete totals of the 1996 Atlanta (209 million), 1994 Lillehammer (204 million) and 2004 Athens (203 million) Games. The 196 million through 10 days is 11 million more than the first ten days for Athens (185 million) and three million more than the Atlanta Games (193 million), which was the most viewed television event in U.S. history. The ten-day total for these Games now surpasses the final overall viewership totals for the Barcelona Games (192 million) in 1992 and the Seoul Games (194 million) in 1988.

The Beijing Olympic 10-day average primetime viewership is 29.8 million, 14 percent ahead of Athens in 2004 (26.2 million). NBC's average of 17.2 rating/30 share is the best through the second Sunday for a Summer Olympics outside the U.S. since Barcelona in 1992 (18.6/35) and is a nine percent jump from Athens in 2004 (15.8/28).

NBC Universal's 3,600 hours of Beijing Olympic coverage is not only fueling record-breaking Olympic viewership, but also casting an Olympic "halo" across the many different divisions of NBC Universal. The unprecedented Olympic coverage has driven record numbers of viewers to NBCU's cable networks; it has also produced impressive gains in viewership and competitive advantage for "NBC Nightly News," NBC News' "Today," and NBC's affiliated stations. NBCOlympics.com has had a record number of page views, unique users and video streams, surpassing its total number from the entire Torino and Athens Games combined.

Sunday night garnered 75 million total viewers in primetime and 26.8 million average viewers, a three percent gain from the comparable night in Athens (26.0). The night earned a 15.8 rating/28 share, which is even with Athens' comparable night which featured three USA track & field gold medals.

Here is a rundown of how Beijing Olympics "halo effect" benefited the various divisions and dayparts of NBC Universal:

"TODAY" AND NIGHTLY NEWS DOMINATE THE COMPETITION: Preliminary affiliate time period data indicates that TODAY will have its highest delivery since the Torino Games in February, 2006 (2/13/06) as well as its best advantage over GMA since the week of the 2000 Presidential election (11/6/00). "Nightly News" is on track for its best advantage over the competition since the week of the Brokaw/Williams transition (11/29/04).

NBC CABLE: Through Sunday, Aug, 17, Olympics coverage on the cable networks of NBC Universal has reached 73.3 million average viewers, up 31 percent from August 2007 (56 million) and up 30 percent from the Athens Games.

USA NETWORK: Through Friday, Aug. 15, the Olympics on USA Network are averaging 960,000 viewers, up 39 percent from the same time periods in Aug. 2007, up 31 percent from the prior four-week viewer delivery before the Games and up 20 percent from the 2004 Athens Games.

MSNBC: Through Friday, Aug. 15, the Olympics on MSNBC are averaging 650,000 viewers, up 145 percent from the same time periods in Aug. 2007, up 137 percent from the prior four-week viewer delivery before the Games and up 22 percent from the 2004 Athens Games.

CNBC: Through Friday, Aug. 15, the Olympics on CNBC from 5-8pm are averaging 606,000 million viewers, up 143 percent from the same time periods in Aug. 2007, up 165 percent from the prior four-week viewer delivery before the Games and identical to the 2004 Athens Games.

OXYGEN: Through Friday, Aug. 15, the Olympics on Oxygen are averaging 658,000 viewers, up 190 percent from the same time periods in Aug. 2007, up 141 percent from the prior four-week viewer delivery before the Games. The week of August 11 saw Oxygen's highest ever delivery for the M-F 6-8pm Olympic time period.

TELEMUNDO: Through Sunday, Aug. 17, Olympic coverage to-date on Telemundo has reached 12 million unique viewers, up 12 percent from the Athens Games. The Olympics on Telemundo are averaging nearly a quarter-million million viewers, up 88 percent from the same time periods in Aug. 2007 and up 87 percent from the prior four-week viewer delivery before the Games.


For the Olympic period (August 8-17) every NBC affiliate in the metered markets ranks No.1 in their market on a total day (5a-5a) basis. Local News ratings for NBC's metered market affiliates have shown significant increases from the prior four-week viewer delivery before the Games.

5-6am up 69%

6-7am up 35%

5-6pm up 23%

6-6:30pm up 27%

Late news up 67% despite the start times significantly later than normal.

OLYMPIC ZONE VIEWERSHIP INCREASES: "Olympic Zone" is a partnership between NBC Olympics and NBC affiliated stations. The 30-minute show airs prior to NBC's primetime Olympic coverage and is showing significant ratings increases for many markets vs. the prior four-week ratings. The markets showing the biggest increases are:

1. San Francisco up 404%

2. Los Angeles up 395%

3. Miami up 336%

4. Atlanta up 288%

5. New York up 220%

"ACCESS HOLLYWOOD" UP 29% ON NBC AFFILIATED STATIONS: NBC Universal's syndicated 30-minute newsmagazine "Access Hollywood," with co-host Billy Bush anchoring from Beijing, airing preceding NBC's primetime coverage of the Torino Games, shows a ratings increase of 29 percent on NBC affiliated stations compared to four-week period prior to the Olympics.

NBCOLYMPICS.COM ON MSN DRAWS MORE VIDEO STREAMS AND PAGE VIEWS THAN ATHENS AND TORINO COMBINED: Through the first 10 days of the Beijing Games, NBCOlympics.com has already generated 754.3 million page views, nearly 200 million more than the combined totals for the entire 17 days of the Torino and Athens Games (561.1 million).

� The 40.7 million video streams on the site are nearly four times the combined Torino and Athens total of 10.8 million.

� 36 million unique visitors to the site since the start of the Games are 42 percent higher than the total monthly unique visitors for the entire Torino and Athens Games combined.

� NBC Olympics mobile WAP site has amassed 21.4 million page views.

  [august 2008]  

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