NBC’s first night of Winter Olympics coverage easily dominated Thursday night in the ratings, yet was down from the start of the network’s coverage in 2010.
Marking the first time NBC’s prime-time event coverage has started before the Opening Ceremony, the Sochi gameplay averaged 19.6 million viewers and a 5.8 rating among adults 18-49 — down 25 percent among total viewers from the first night of Vancouver competition in 2010. The network’s prime-time coverage included figure skating, snowboarding and women’s skiing Friday night.
Competitors were not as injured as much as you might expect by NBC’s ratings surge. Though most rivals were down from last week, most were only off by a couple tenths of a ratings point in the demo. CBS’ Big Bang Theory (17.2 million, 5.0) in particular seemed impervious to the pressure. Though CBS’ The Crazy Ones and Two and a Half Men dipped to series lows, both down about 10 percent, given that they were already ebbing down before this week. On Fox, American Idol held mostly steady, but Rake declined 15 percent. Full chart:
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