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[08/19/08 - 12:29 PM]
NBC's Coverage of the Beijing Olympics Delivers the Most Dominant Primetime Week in People Meter History
NBC spins the numbers for the week of August 11-17.

[via press release from NBC]

NBC'S COVERAGE OF THE BEIJING OLYMPICS DELIVERS THE MOST DOMINANT PRIMETIME WEEK IN PEOPLE METER HISTORY

NBC'S COVERAGE OF THE BEIJING OLYMPICS DELIVERS THE MOST DOMINANT PRIMETIME WEEK IN PEOPLE METER HISTORY

NBC'S MARGINS OVER SECOND PLACE FOR THE WEEK IN 18-49, TOTAL VIEWERS AND HOUSEHOLDS ARE THE BIGGEST FOR ANY NETWORK IN THE NEARLY 21 YEARS OF NIELSEN'S CURRENT PEOPLE METER SAMPLE

IN 18-49, IT'S THE TOP-RATED WEEK OUTSIDE THE TRADITIONAL SEASON FOR ANY NETWORK SINCE 2000

IT'S ALSO THE MOST-WATCHED WEEK IN TOTAL VIEWERS OUTSIDE THE TRADITIONAL SEASON FOR ANY NETWORK SINCE 1996

FROM 'GOLDEN GIRLS' TO GOLD MEDALS: SATURDAY'S OLYMPICS TELECAST GENERATES NBC'S BIGGEST AUDIENCE FOR A SATURDAY PROGRAM IN 18 YEARS

NBC'S SEVEN NIGHTS OF OLYMPICS COVERAGE TAKE THE TOP SEVEN RANKINGS FOR THE WEEK IN ALL KEY MEASURES

THROUGH THE FIRST 10 DAYS, 196 MILLION VIEWERS HAVE WATCHED THE BEIJING OLYMPICS ON THE NETWORKS OF NBC UNIVERSAL, UP 11 MILLION VS. ATHENS

BURBANK, Calif. � August 19, 2008 � NBC's coverage of the Summer Olympic Games from Beijing has delivered the most dominant margins of victory for any network in any primetime week in the history of Nielsen's People Meter sample. For the week of August 11-17, NBC generated more than four times the household rating of the #2 network, more than five times the #2 total-viewer result and more than seven times the #2 adult 18-49 rating, to claim the biggest weeklong wins in those categories for any network since Nielsen initiated its current People Meter sample in September 1987. (Note that weekly averages have not been finalized by Nielsen and some minor adjustments may be made in official results for the week.)

According to in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research, NBC averaged a 9.6 rating in adults 18-49, 28.7 million viewers overall and a 16.8 rating/28 share in households for the primetime week of August 11-17. Those averages were strong enough to deliver record margins over the week's #2 finishes of 638 percent in 18-49 (9.6 vs. 1.3 for second-place CBS), 463 percent in total viewers (28.7 million vs. CBS's 5.1 million) and 394 percent in households (16.8 vs. CBS's 3.4).

NBC also beat the combined ABC-CBS-Fox results in those three categories and again by margins that are the biggest for any network in People Meter history � 167 percent in 18-49 (9.6 vs. 3.6), 143 percent in total viewers (28.7 million vs. 11.8 million) and 113 percent in household rating (16.8 vs. 7.9).

NBC's 9.6 rating in 18-49 is the highest for any network outside the traditional television season since the week of September 18-24, 2000 (10.0 for NBC during the Sydney Summer Games). In both total viewers and households, NBC scored the top weeklong results for any network outside the traditional season since the week of July 29-August 4, 1996 (32.1 million viewers overall and a 21.4 household rating for NBC during the Atlanta Summer Games).

NBC's seven nights of primetime Olympics coverage claimed the top seven spots in the weekly program rankings in every key ratings category. Tuesday's telecast was the #1 program of the week in all key categories, including adults 18-49 (12.4/34) and total viewers (34.0 million).

NBC also soared on Saturday, when Michael Phelps claimed his record eighth gold medal of these Olympics and NBC delivered its biggest average audience for a Saturday program since a "Golden Girls" episode in February 1990.

Through 10 days, the networks of NBC Universal have reached 196 million total viewers who've watched at least a part of the Olympics coverage, 11 million more than the first 10 days for Athens (185 million) and 3 million more than the Atlanta Games (193 million), which was the most viewed television event in U.S. history. The 10-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 a 17.2 rating, 30 share in households 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 9 percent jump from Athens in 2004 (15.8/28).

Primetime averages for the week of August 11-17 in adults 18-49 were NBC (a 9.6 rating), CBS (1.3), Fox (1.2), ABC (1.1) and CW (0.6). In overall total viewers the weekly averages were NBC (28.7 million), CBS (5.1 million), ABC (3.4 million), Fox (3.2 million) and CW (1.5 million).

Through 47 weeks of the 2007-08 season, Fox leads in primetime's key demographic of adults 18-49, with NBC now ranking #2 ahead of ABC and CBS. NBC is matching its year-ago rating in 18-49 while ABC is down 10 percent, CBS is down 19 percent and Fox is up 3 percent. Season-to-date averages in adults 18-49 for the period September 24, 2007 through August 17, 2008 are Fox (3.7), NBC (2.8), ABC (2.7), CBS (2.6) and CW (0.9).

NBC is the only major network that has not seen its audience get significantly older this season versus last and it is now the "second-youngest" of the major broadcast networks. Through the first 47 weeks of the 2007-08 season, NBC is running within 0.4 years of its median age from the prior season (48.8 years this season vs. 48.4 years last season). In this same comparison, ABC's median age has increased by 1.7 years (to 48.8 from 47.1 years old at this point last season), CBS's median age has increased by 0.8 years (to 53.3 from 52.5) and Fox's median age has increased by 1.4 years (to 43.9 from 42.5).

NBC highlights for the week of August 11-17:

* Saturday's primetime Olympics coverage averaged 31.6 million viewers overall, giving the network its biggest audience for any Saturday NBC program since a telecast of "The Golden Girls" on February 24, 1990.

* With Michael Phelps winning his record eighth gold medal of the Beijing Games and 14th of his Olympic career, NBC beat Saturday's primetime ABC-CBS-Fox competition combined by 273 percent in 18-49 and 267 percent in total viewers, NBC's biggest Saturday margins over the combined competition in People Meter history.

* On Monday, NBC's primetime Olympics telecast averaged 30.4 million viewers, besting the comparable night of the 2004 Athens Olympics by 3.1 million viewers or 11 percent.

* With its Olympics coverage, NBC scored the highest Monday primetime rating in adults 18-49 for any network since Fox on January 19, 2004. In total viewers, it was the biggest primetime audience for any network on a Monday since February 17, 2003 (Fox). It was NBC's top Monday primetime performance in both 18-49 and total viewers since February 11, 2002 (Salt Lake City Olympics).

* Tuesday was NBC's most viewed night of the 2008 Beijing Olympics to date, with 82 million viewers watching some or all of the telecast. NBC's average viewership of 34.0 million on Tuesday, bested the comparable night of the 2004 Athens Games by 13 percent, or nearly 4 million persons.

* Tuesday's Olympics coverage lifted NBC to its highest primetime rating in adults 18-49 for any night of the week since Thursday, May 6, 2004, the night of the "Friends" series finale. It was also NBC's top Tuesday night in both 18-49 and total viewers since February 19, 2002 (Salt Lake City Olympics).

* In primetime on Tuesday, NBC topped ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 163 percent in 18-49 rating (11.3 vs. a combined 4.3) and by 139 percent, or nearly 19 million persons in total viewers (32.5 million vs. a combined 13.6 million). This marked NBC's largest advantage over the combined competition on a Tuesday night in Nielsen People Meter history.

* On Wednesday, NBC's primetime Olympics coverage boosted the network to its best Wednesday results in 18-49 and total viewers since August 2004. In primetime, NBC topped ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 149 percent in 18-49 rating and by 111 percent in total viewers, NBC's biggest advantage over the combined competition on a Wednesday night in Nielsen people Meter history.

* On Thursday, NBC's primetime Olympics telecast scored the network's strongest Thursday 18-49 rating since August 19, 2004 and amassed the biggest overall viewership for any network on a Thursday since that same date.

* In primetime on Thursday, NBC topped ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 144 percent in adults 18-49 and 129 percent in total viewers.

* On Friday, NBC's primetime Olympics coverage averaged 26.1 million viewers, besting the comparable night of the 2004 Athens Olympics by 2.3 million viewers or 10 percent.

* In primetime on Friday, NBC topped ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 131 percent in adults 18-49 and 111 percent in total viewers.

* On Sunday, NBC's primetime Olympics coverage averaged 27.2 million viewers, outscoring the comparable night of the 2004 Athens Olympics by 1.2 million viewers or 4 percent.

* In primetime on Sunday, NBC topped ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 134 percent in adults 18-49 and 130 percent in total viewers.

Ratings reflect "live plus same day" data unless otherwise noted. Season-to-date figures are averages of "live plus seven day" data except for the two most recent weeks, which are "live plus same day."

Additional NBC highlights for the week of August 11-17:

On Monday, August 11, NBC's primetime coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics averaged a 10.6 rating, 29 share in adults 18-49, 30.2 million viewers overall and a 17.6/29 household rating/share for its full duration from 8-11:36 p.m. ET. The 8-11 p.m. primetime portion of NBC's Monday Olympics coverage averaged a 10.4/28 in adults 18-49, 30.4 million viewers overall and a 17.6/28 household rating/share.

Monday's 30.2 million average viewers bested the comparable night of the 2004 Athens Olympics (27.1 million) by 3.1 million viewers, or 11 percent.

With a 10.4 primetime rating in adults 18-49, NBC scored the highest Monday primetime rating for any network since Fox on January 19, 2004. For NBC, it was the top-rated Monday in adults 18-49 since February 11, 2002.

In total viewers, NBC's 8-11 p.m. average (30.4 million) is the biggest primetime audience for any network on a Monday since Fox on February 17, 2003. For NBC, it was the most-watched Monday in total viewers since February 11, 2002.

NBC delivered more than five times the results of the night's #2 network in adults 18-49 (10.4 vs. 1.8 for CBS) and total viewers (30.4 million vs. CBS's 6.0 million). NBC more than doubled the combined ABC-CBS-Fox competition in 18-49 and total viewers.

On Tuesday, August 12, NBC's coverage of the Beijing Olympics averaged a 12.4/34 in adults 18-49, 34.0 million viewers overall and a 19.9/34 household rating/share for its full duration from 8 p.m.-12:19 a.m. ET. The 8-11 p.m. primetime portion of NBC's Tuesday Olympics coverage averaged an 11.3/30 in adults 18-49, 32.5 million viewers overall and a 19.0/30 household rating/share.

Tuesday was NBC's most viewed and highest rated night of the 2008 Beijing Olympics so far, with 82 million viewers watching some or all of the telecast and a 19.9/34 in households for the full duration of 8 p.m.-12:19 a.m., as Michael Phelps set the record for most Olympic gold medals ever won.

Tuesday's 34.0 million average viewers (full duration) bested the comparable night of the 2004 Athens Olympics (30.1 million) by nearly 4 million persons, or 13 percent.

The Olympics lifted NBC on Tuesday to its highest primetime rating in adults 18-49 (11.3/30) for any night of the week since Thursday, May 6, 2004, the night of the "Friends" series finale. It was also NBC's top Tuesday night in both 18-49 and total viewers since February 19, 2002 (Salt Lake City Olympics).

On Tuesday in primetime 8-11 p.m., NBC beat the combined ABC-CBS-Fox 18-49 rating by 163 percent (11.3 vs. a combined 4.3). That marks NBC's biggest advantage over the combined competition on a Tuesday in People Meter history. In total viewers, NBC beat the combined ABC-CBS-Fox competition by 139 percent (32.5 million vs. a combined 13.6 million), also NBC's biggest Tuesday win over the combined competition in People Meter history.

On Wednesday, August 13, NBC's Olympics coverage averaged a 9.4/27 in adults 18-49, 27.7 million viewers overall and a 16.7/28 household rating/share for its full duration from 8-11:26 p.m. ET. The 8-11 p.m. primetime portion of NBC's Wednesday Olympics coverage averaged a 9.2/27 in adults 18-49, 27.7 million viewers overall and a 16.6/28 household rating/share.

A total of 72 million viewers watched some or all of NBC's Wednesday primetime Olympics coverage, with an average of 27.7 million, which is off just 2 percent versus the comparable night of the 2004 Athens Olympics (28.4 million), when Paul Hamm took the controversial gold medal in the Men's Gymnastics All-Around.

Wednesday's primetime coverage gave NBC its highest Wednesday 18-49 and total viewer results since August 18, 2004.

In 8-11 p.m. primetime Wednesday, NBC beat the combined ABC-CBS-Fox 18-49 rating by 149 percent (9.2 vs. a combined 3.7). This was NBC's biggest advantage over the combined competition on a Wednesday in People Meter history. In total viewers, NBC beat the combined ABC-CBS-Fox competition by 111 percent (27.7 million vs. a combined 13.1 million from 8-11 p.m.), again NBC's biggest Wednesday win over the combined competition in People Meter history.

On Thursday, August 14, NBC's coverage of the Beijing Olympics averaged a 10.4/30 in adults 18-49, 29.7 million viewers overall and a 17.9/31 household rating/share for its full duration from 8 p.m.-midnight ET. The 8-11 p.m. primetime portion of NBC's Thursday Olympics coverage averaged a 9.5/27 in adults 18-49, 28.4 million viewers overall and a 17.0/28 household rating/share.

Thursday's 8-11 p.m. Olympics coverage boosted NBC to its highest-rated Thursday in adults 18-49 since August 19, 2004. With an average 28.4 million viewers in primetime, this was the biggest Thursday for any network in total viewers since that same date nearly four years ago.

On Thursday, NBC's 8-11 p.m. average beat the combined ABC-CBS-Fox rating by 144 percent in adults 18-49 (9.5 vs. a combined 3.9) and by 129 percent in total viewers (28.4 million vs. a combined 12.4 million from 8-11 p.m.).

On Friday, August 15, NBC's coverage of the Beijing Olympics averaged an 8.5/28 in adults 18-49, 26.1 million viewers overall and a 15.4/28 household rating/share for its full duration from 8-11:36 p.m. ET. The 8-11 p.m. primetime portion of NBC's Friday Olympics coverage averaged an 8.3/27 in adults 18-49, 25.9 million viewers overall and a 15.3/27 household rating/share. The 26.1 million viewer average from 8-11:36 p.m. is an increase of 2.3 million persons or 10 percent versus the comparable night in Athens (23.7 million). In adults 18-49, Friday's coverage was up 8 percent versus the same night in Athens (8.5 vs. 7.9).

On Friday, NBC's 8-11 p.m. average beat the combined ABC-CBS-Fox rating by 131 percent in adults 18-49 (8.3 vs. a combined 3.6) and by 111 percent in total viewers (25.9 million vs. a combined 12.3 million from 8-11 p.m.).

On Saturday, August 16, NBC's coverage of the Beijing Olympics averaged a 10.6/33 in adults 18-49, 31.6 million viewers overall and a 17.8/32 household rating/share for its full duration from 8:30-11:44 p.m. ET. The 8:30-11 p.m. primetime portion of NBC's Saturday Olympics coverage averaged a 9.7/30 in adults 18-49, 29.7 million viewers overall and a 16.9/30 household rating/share. With Michael Phelps winning his record eighth gold medal of the Beijing games and 14th career Olympic gold medal, NBC improved by 9 million viewers or 40 percent on the comparable night in Athens (22.5 million). In adults 18-49, the gain versus Athens is 31 percent (10.6 vs. 8.1).

In total viewers, NBC's 31.6 million viewer average for Saturday night's Olympics coverage from 8:30-11:44 p.m. represents the best viewership for a Saturday program on NBC since "The Golden Girls" drew 32.0 million viewers on February 24, 1990.

In Saturday primetime averages (8:30-11 p.m. ET for NBC, 8-11 p.m. for ABC and CBS, 8-10 p.m. for Fox), NBC beat ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 273 percent in adults 18-49 (9.7 vs. a combined 2.6) and 267 percent in total viewers (29.7 million vs. a combined 8.1 million). These are NBC's biggest Saturday margins over the combined competition in People Meter history.

On Sunday, August 17, NBC's primetime coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics averaged a 9.2/26 in adults 18-49, 27.2 million viewers overall and a 16.0/27 household rating/share for its full duration from 7:30-11:30 p.m. ET. The 7:30-11 p.m. primetime portion of NBC's Sunday Olympics coverage averaged an 8.9/25 in adults 18-49, 26.7 million viewers overall and a 15.7/26 household rating/share. Versus the Athens Summer Games, Sunday's coverage was up 1.2 million persons or 4 percent in total viewers (27.2 million vs. 26.0 million).

In Sunday primetime averages (7:30-11 p.m. ET for NBC, 7-11 p.m. for ABC and CBS, 7-10 p.m. for Fox), NBC beat ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 134 percent in 18-49 (8.9 vs. a combined 3.8) and 130 percent in total viewers (26.7 million vs. 11.6 million).





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