Olympian NBC wins weekly ratings race. As with last week, other networks are distant also-rans

By Gary Susman
August 31, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

In the most boring and predictable Nielsen ratings race since, well, last week, NBC dominated primetime again with its all-Olympics-all-the-time schedule. As with the previous week, each night of NBC’s coverage of the Athens games landed in the top seven on Nielsen’s chart; the most-watched evening was Monday’s coverage of the U.S. women’s beach volleyball semifinals, which drew 25.9 million fans. The team’s gold-medal victory on Tuesday saw a similar ratings spike, with an audience of 25 million, No. 2 for the week.

In all, NBC averaged 22 million viewers, nearly three times the average audience of silver-medal competitor CBS (7.4 million). CBS also boasted the week’s top non-Greek shows, which, like last week, included usual ratings champ ”CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (No. 8, with 12.6 million viewers) and ”The Amazing Race” (finishing at No. 9 with 10.5 million watching the departure of the popular team of Charla and Mirna). ABC averaged just 4.5 million for the week, edging out Fox (4.3 million). UPN beat the WB 2.5 million to 2.3 million. Next week, of course, it’ll be back to business as usual, with NBC unable to rely on Olympic fare, though it’ll probably still continue to air nonstop ads for ”Joey.”