Historical Nielsen TV Ratings for Summer Olympics

Categories: TV Ratings Reference,TV Sports Ratings & News

Written By

August 8th, 2008

...and a couple of other viewing data snippets (including the number of people who watched TV during primetime -- total, not averages -- during this year's May sweeps.  (4/28-5/25).  As well as a sad bar chart indicating that with economy and gas prices, people are going out less often this year, from fine dining and casinos, to bars.

The Olympics data is interesting to me. I was well aware that we boycotted the summer Olympics in Moscow in 1980. But I was not aware that they didn't run on our televisions anyway. The summer Olympics I remember best were the 1972 Olympics in Munich (Mark Spitz) and the 1976 event in Montreal (Sugar Ray Leonard and the Spinks brothers -- the heyday of US Olympic boxing!).

I'd chalk it up to diminished youthful enthusiasm as my youth itself diminished (I'd just turned 10 for the 1972 games, and 14 for the 1976 games) but the summer Olympics have gone downhill for me since then.  But, I'm not alone. Those two summers were the highest rated Olympics of my lifetime (with Montreal getting the best primetime share).

I am looking forward to this year though and hoping I can get into despite the time differences. I'm not sure if I can reset my clock to be awake at 2am my time to watch the US Basketball team live on USA network, but we shall see...

Click on the image below for a slightly larger and easier to read version...

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