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NBCUniversal's coverage of 2014 Sochi Games reaches more Americans via more platforms than any Winter Olympics

by jmaloni

Submitted

Tue, Feb 25th 2014 08:20 pm
NBC images.
NBC images.

Winter Games-record 242.3 million media exposures of Sochi Olympics coverage across NBCUni's broadcast, cable and digital properties - up 3.5 million from 2010 Vancouver Games

76 percent of U.S. TV homes tuned in to Sochi Games coverage on networks of NBCUniversal

There were more ways to consume, more hours shown, and more Americans experiencing NBCUniversal's presentation of the XXII Olympic Winter Games from Sochi, Russia, than ever before for a Winter Olympics. The Sochi Games generated 242.3 million media exposures across the platforms of NBCUniversal - a 3.5 million increase over the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. The Vancouver Games were televised live to most of the U.S. population, featured 37 American medals, and was the second-most watched Winter Olympics ever in terms of TV viewership.

The Total Audience Measurement Index (TAMi) measured how people consumed the Olympic content of NBCUniversal's Winter Olympics-record 18 days of programming, which featured an unprecedented 1,500-plus hours of multiplatform coverage - on the NBC broadcast network, four cable channels (NBCSN, CNBC, MSNBC and USA Network), NBCOlympics.com, and the NBC Sports Live Extra and NBC Olympics Highlights and Results apps. That is not an unduplicated figure, as Olympics consumption across multiple screens is on the rise.

"The Olympics continue to be a must-see property on television," said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. "However, as we saw beginning with the 2012 London Games, Americans have clearly expanded their viewing patterns. In addition to the tremendous audiences that tuned in to our curated primetime coverage on NBC, we set records on a near-daily basis for live coverage on our digital platforms and our cable networks, particularly NBCSN, which regularly achieved ratings and viewership milestones. The Sochi Winter Games took place in the largest country in the world with the most events ever, and we are pleased that Americans overwhelmingly chose to bring us into their living rooms - and onto their laptops, tablets and mobile devices - for what was an exhilarating and gratifying 18 days."

Sochi Olympics are most dominant Winter Games in primetime on record: From the Feb. 7 opening ceremony through Sunday's closing ceremony, NBC produced the most dominant primetime Winter Olympics performance on record by a broadcast network in viewership, household rating, and the Adult 18-49 demo (based on People Meter, which dates to 1987).

NBC's primetime Olympics telecasts averaged 21.4 million viewers (P2+), a 12.3 national household rating/20 share and a 5.5 rating among Adults 18-49. In primetime, the Olympics generated record-setting advantages of 45 percent in viewers, 32 percent in household rating, and 51 percent in Adults 18-49 over the combined primetime totals of ABC, CBS and FOX, according to live plus same day official national data released by The Nielsen Company.

Comparing primetime competition on a nightly basis, NBC's Sochi Olympics was the No. 1 show on all 18 nights based on household rating:

Winter Olympics

# of Nights NBC Olympics Was Top-Rated Program

2014 Sochi

18 of 18

2010 Vancouver

14 of 17

2006 Torino

8 of 17

More than 76 percent of U.S. television homes tuned in: Viewers in three of every four U.S. television households (76.1 percent) tuned in to some portion of the Sochi Winter Games, with a total television reach of 178 million American viewers, according to fast cume data provided by Nielsen.

NBC primetime averages 21.4 million viewers - up 6 percent from last European Winter Games: NBC averaged 21.4 million viewers for its primetime Sochi Olympics coverage (nine-hour time difference from ET) - up 6 percent from the 20.2 million average for the last European Winter Games in Torino in 2006 (six-hour difference). NBC's 12.3 household rating/20 share for primetime also topped the Torino Games (12.2 household rating/19 share). NBC's primetime coverage of the live (ET/CT) 2010 Vancouver Games averaged 24.4 million viewers with a 13.8 household rating/23 share.

Other highlights from NBC's Olympic telecasts:

•The NBC Olympics late night show produced its best Winter Olympics performance since the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, with an average of 5.6 million viewers - topping Vancouver by 17 percent and Torino by 12 percent.

•The Feb. 17 primetime telecast featuring Meryl Davis and Charlie White winning America's first-ever ice dancing Olympic gold medal averaged 23.5 million viewers and a 13.8 household rating/21 share - resulting in respective 29 percent and 18 percent advantages over the combined primetime viewership and household rating of ABC, CBS and FOX. Those advantages rank as the most-dominant Monday night in the September-May TV season since the 1998 Academy Awards ("Titanic" won best picture) by any broadcast network compared to the combined performance of the other major broadcast networks.

•The women's gold medal hockey game between the U.S. and Canada at noon ET on Feb. 20, won 3-2 by Team Canada on an overtime goal by Marie-Philip Poulin, averaged 4.9 million viewers on NBC to rank as the most-watched hockey game in the U.S., excluding Stanley Cup Finals, since the 2010 Vancouver Olympics men's gold medal game (Canada defeated the U.S. 3-2 on an overtime goal by Sidney Crosby).

"The Tonight Show" featuring debut of host Jimmy Fallon posts best viewership week in more than 20 years: In the second week of the Sochi Games, Jimmy Fallon debuted as the new host of "The Tonight Show" and posted landmark numbers. The full week of shows (Feb. 17-21) averaged 8.5 million viewers, marking the most-watched week for "The Tonight Show" since May 17-21, 1993, which was the week of the "Cheers" finale.

Ratings and viewership increases for NBC News and affiliate news programming: NBC's national news programming as well as local affiliate newscasts posted increases in all dayparts. "Today" and "NBC Nightly News" were both onsite in Sochi throughout the Olympics.

•"Today" was the No. 1 ranked morning show for both weeks of the Sochi Olympics, posting its best viewership since the London Olympics. "Today" also grew its total viewer and key demo advantages over the competition by triple digits. 

"NBC Nightly News" was the No. 1 evening news program for both weeks of the Sochi Olympics. In addition, for the first week of the games, "NBC Nightly News" averaged 11.6 million viewers - ranking as the program's best viewership week in more than nine years (January 2005), and topping the first-week audiences of the past four Olympics (London, Vancouver, Beijing and Torino).

•Local weekday newscasts on NBC affiliates enjoyed household ratings increases compared to the prior four weeks. Household ratings for late local news jumped 62 percent, local early morning news ratings increased 20 percent, and ratings for local evening newscasts were up 9 percent.

NBCSN live Sochi viewership up for all 16 days vs. comparable daytime coverage for '12 London Games: Over each day of NBCSN's Olympic schedule - 16 days from Saturday, Feb. 8, through Sunday, Feb. 23 - the network's live Sochi coverage was more viewed than its coverage of the 2012 London Olympics in the comparable 6 a.m.-3 p.m. ET time period.

NBCSN averaged 1.6 million viewers for the Sochi Games in the 6 a.m.-3 p.m. ET time period - a 134 percent increase over the network's comparable daytime coverage of the 2012 London Games (692,000 viewers).

In addition, the 10 best weekday daytime audiences in NBCSN's history were provided by its 10 weekdays of Sochi coverage, and the network's five highest viewership totals for weekend daytimes also came during coverage of this Olympics.

Additional milestones for NBCSN during the Sochi Games:

•The Team USA-Canada Olympic men's hockey semifinal on Feb. 21 posted a 2.7 household rating/8 share to rank as the highest-rated hockey game in NBCSN history - exceeding Olympics competition as well as the ratings for any Stanley Cup Playoffs or Stanley Cup Finals game in the network's history.

•NBCSN averaged 4.1 million viewers for the Feb. 15 USA-Russia Olympic men's hockey game - setting a record for the most-watched hockey game in the network's history (previous: 4.0 million for Blackhawks-Bruins in 2013 Stanley Cup Finals Game 3). Viewership for the game peaked at 6.4 million from 10-10:30 a.m. ET during the tension-laden, eight-round shootout and is the most-watched half hour in NBCSN history.

Winter Olympics-record 61.8 million unique users on NBC Sports Group's digital platforms: NBC Sports Group's digital platforms amassed nearly 62 million unique users (61.8 million) - a record for a Winter Olympics and topping the 2010 Vancouver Games by 29 percent.

In addition:

•A Winter Olympics-record 10.8 million hours of video were consumed on NBC Olympics' digital platforms, more than triple the hours of video streamed for the Vancouver Games. Approximately 80 percent of the video was viewed via "TV Everywhere" authenticated live streams on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app. NBC Olympics' exclusive highlights comprised the remaining video viewed.

•"TV Everywhere" played an important role during the Sochi Olympic Games with verification rates being significantly higher than the 2012 London Olympic Games. The Feb. 21 verified live stream of the Olympic men's ice hockey semifinal between the U.S. and Canada, which Team Canada won 1-0, generated more than 2.1 million unique users (2.122 million) - believed to be the largest "TV Everywhere" verified streaming audience in U.S. history and ranking No. 1 in unique users for any NBC Sports Digital stream, topping NBC's non-authenticated Super Bowl XLVI in February 2012 (2.105 million uniques).

•NBC Sports Digital marked three consecutive days with record-setting live streaming performances from Feb 19-21. Prior to the Team USA men's hockey record noted above, the Feb. 20 U.S.-Canada women's gold medal game was the most streamed authenticated game in the history of NBC Sports Digital and most-streamed Olympics event ever (1.2 million unique users on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app). The Feb. 19 U.S.-Czech Republic men's quarterfinal hockey game was previously the most-streamed Olympic event ever (798,337 uniques).

Note: All data for NBC Sports Group's Digital Properties is provided by Adobe Analytics.

Final top 25 metered markets for NBC primetime (17-day average, opening ceremony-closing ceremony):

Market

HH rating/share

1. Minneapolis

19.4/33

2. Salt Lake City

19.0/36

3. Denver

18.3/32

4. Milwaukee

17.0/28

5. Kansas City

16.6/27

6. Ft. Myers

16.5/26

7. Indianapolis

16.0/26

8. Portland

15.7/27

9. Buffalo

15.4/24

10. Pittsburgh

15.2/23

11. Albuquerque

14.9/24

T12. Boston

14.6/25

T12. Dayton

14.6/22

14. Chicago

14.5/23

15. Sacramento

14.4/24

T16. Austin

14.2/25

T16. Richmond

14.2/21

T16. Seattle

14.2/25

19. Oklahoma City

14.0/21

T20. Providence

13.8/22

T20. West Palm Beach

13.8/22

T22. Columbus, OH

13.6/23

T22. St. Louis

13.6/22

T24. Cincinnati

13.3/21

T24. San Francisco

13.3/24

T24. Washington, D.C.

13.3/22

A division of the NBC Sports Group, NBC Olympics is responsible for producing, programming and promoting NBCUniversal's Olympic coverage. It is renowned for its unsurpassed Olympic heritage, award-winning production, and ability to aggregate the largest audiences in U.S. television history.

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