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[02/12/06 - 12:00 AM]
50 Million Viewers Watch Torino Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony on Nbc

[via press release from NBC]

MORE THAN 88 MILLION VIEWERS HAVE WATCHED THE TWO DAYS OF THE TORINO WINTER OLYMPICS ON NBC UNIVERSAL

MORE THAN 88 MILLION VIEWERS HAVE WATCHED THE TWO DAYS OF THE TORINO WINTER OLYMPICS ON NBC UNIVERSAL

NBC's Torino Olympics Coverage Produces Highest Rated First Saturday Night of Any Non-Domestic Olympics Since 1994

Saturday Night's Primetime Coverage of the Winter Games is the Highest Rated Show on NBC Since 2004

TORINO, Italy - Feb. 12, 2006 - Through Saturday, more than 88 million people have watched the Torino Winter Olympics on the networks of NBC Universal. NBC's Saturday night broadcast was seen by 47 million total viewers. NBC's coverage of the first night of competition of the Torino Winter Games drew a 13.5 household rating and 23 share, and is the highest rated first Saturday night for any non-domestic Olympics, Winter or Summer, since the tabloid Lillehammer Games in 1994 (20.9), surpassing Athens in 2004 (11.8) and Sydney in 2000 (13.1). The 13.5/23 is up 10 percent from CBS's rating for the first night of competition in Nagano in 1998, the last non-domestic Winter Games (12.3/22).

The 13.5/23 (8:30-11:15 p.m. ET/PT) is the highest rating for any NBC show since the last Olympics, the Athens Games in Aug. 2004 (13.8, 8/26/04) and the highest rating for a Saturday night on NBC since the Salt Lake Games (15.5, 2/23/02). The first two days of the Torino Olympics, have given NBC its two highest-rated back-to-back nights since the last Olympics, the Athens Games in 2004. Last night's 13.5 out-rates every night of the 2005 World Series.

"The Olympics remain one of the biggest events on television," said Randy Falco, President and COO, NBC Universal Television Group. "Despite this being the most competitive quarter I've seen in my 30 years in the television business, the Olympics continue to perform as they have throughout the past decade, compared to the current network television landscape."

Based on the dramatic changes in the media environment from Olympics to Olympics, the real measure of its success is to compare the Olympic rating to the underlying primetime average. NBC's primetime rating last night (13.6, 8:30-11 p.m. ET/PT) tripled the underlying 4-network primetime average rating for a Saturday night (+216 percent, 4.3) and also more than tripled NBC's usual Saturday night delivery this season (+240 percent, 4.0).

An average of 23.6 million viewers tuned in to watch NBC's primetime coverage last night (8:30-11 p.m. ET/PT), including Chad Hedrick's gold medal speedskating victory in the 5000m and the pairs figure skating short program, twice as many average viewers as the other networks combined (20.4M), and 293 percent higher than NBC's primetime average this season (6M). The 23.6 million viewers tuning in to NBC's broadcast last night is 19 percent higher than the 19.8 million that tuned in to CBS's first night of competition in Nagano in 1998.

Other notes:

- NBC's 6.8 Adults 18-49 rating for primetime coverage of the Winter Games last night was 323 percent higher than CBS (1.6) and 133 percent above both ABC and Fox (2.9) and was 278 percent higher than NBC's normal Saturday night rating this season (1.8).

- Saturday's afternoon coverage of the Torino Winter Games (3-6 p.m. ET/PT) drew a 6.8 HH rating, up 19 percent from the first Saturday afternoon in Nagano, the last non-domestic Winter Games (5.7/14).

- The rating for NBC's primetime coverage last night peaked with a 14.2 between 9-9:30 p.m. ET as the pairs figure skating short program began and Canadian Jennifer Heil raced to the gold in the women's moguls.

The networks of NBC Universal, NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC HD and Universal HD will provide 418 total hours of coverage - including the most live coverage - across the most platforms of any Winter Olympics in history of the XX Olympic Winter Games from Torino, Italy, Feb. 10-26.





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