I think we have a pretty good picture now of the overall TV ratings for Vancouver, and all in all things look happy for NBC. With most of the days accounted for (and ALL competitive skating days accounted for), here are some of the numbers according to zap2it.com:
Friday Feb 12 (Opening): 34.5 million watching/18.1 rating
Wednesday Feb 17 (No figure skating; Lindsey Vonn & Shaun White were among those winning gold): 29.3 million/16.7 **
Sunday Feb 14 (pairs SP): 26.3 million/14.4
Monday Feb 15 (pairs final): 25.5 million/14.4
Thursday Feb 18 (Men’s Free): 25.3 million/14.7 **
Friday Feb 19 (ice dance compulsories): 23.2 million/13.4
Thursday Feb 25 (Ladies final): 22.5 million/13.3 *
Sunday Feb 21 (ice dance OD): 22.4 million/12.8***
Monday Feb 22 (ice dance final): 21.1 million/12.7
Tuesday Feb 23 (Ladies SP): 21.2/12.6 *
Tuesday Feb 16 (Men’s SP): 20.4/12.2 *
Sunday Feb 28 (Close): 19.8/11.3
*= These were days where the average viewership was defeated by the average viewership of American Idol. It should be noted that Idol aired in the first hour of the evening most everywhere; numbers for hours 2 and 3 (when more and more figure skaters actually skated) were much higher.
**=These were days where NBC and the Olympics defeated Fox, which means it defeated Idol. As I mentioned before, I think it’s the first time Idol ‘s been defeated. (One night was attributed to the superstar U.S. medals racked up; the other was attributed to the men’s free skate.)
***= The night of the OD (original dance) was the same night as the first US vs. Canada hockey game… and apparently it was a controversial decision to air the OD on NBC while the hockey game was relegated to MSNBC. And according to at least one report I saw, the MSNBC numbers were higher in some regard. (I’m going to blame it on the Russians J
But did you see the even bigger surprise here… Compulsory dance night pulled in bigger numbers than any other part of the ice dance competition! Maybe they should reconsider this whole compulsory phase-out thing…
NBC promised a 14 rating (on average) to its advertisers; as it turns out the rating averaged a 13.8 according to USA Today. That’s good news for NBC, and good news for anyone who wants to see NBC get the 2014 Games.
Which I know isn’t everybody.
But be pleased anyway, for outstanding skating shone through when it needed to the most. Always a sport that's great in the clutch, isn't it?
Coming soon: Favorite lines from non-Olympic TV coverage about the Olympics!