Nielsen Ratings Sunday, August 24: Goodbye Beijing!

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August 25th, 2008

Total Viewers (million) 23.64 5.60 4.53 2.84 .79
Rating/Share: Adults 18-49 6.9/19 1.5/4 1.5/4 1.2/3 0.3/1

The Closing Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics included the expected trampling by NBC of it's broadcast rivals with an average of 23.64 million viewers and a demo adults 18-49 share/rating of 6.9/19.

NBC was down about 15% from last Sunday night while the competition's results and line ups were largely unchanged. Viewership patterns for last night's Olympics broadcast were similar, peaking in the 9-10pm hour, to last week.

I'm sure we'll see comparisons with previous Olympic Closing Ceremony ratings from an NBC press release very soon and I'll include them here or in another post as soon as possible.

Just returning last night from a month outside the US, I missed much of the discussion about NBC's broadcast/tape delay and "Olympics as TV entertainment not sports" policies, but keeping up with all of Robert's posts while I was away it does seem like NBC did quite well with the viewers. Perhaps they might have done even better with a different policy, but they have the luxury of those comparisons not being empirically possible.

Big audience live events will still be the exclusive domain of broadcast television for the foreseeable future. I do see a day coming within the next decade when they are pretty much the only thing that is the exclusive domain of broadcast television though. Because of that, I think sports programming will become relatively more valuable as a broadcast commodity. 

Full details:

Time Net Show Viewers Live+SD (Millons) 18-49 Rating/Share
7:00 NBC Olympics Closing Ceremony/Volleyball 15.57 4.1/14
  CBS 60 Minutes 6.58 1.2/4
  ABC America's Funniest Home Videos (repeat) 5.06 1.4/5
  FOX Til Death x2 (repeat) 1.97 0.8/2
  CW One Tree Hill (repeat) 0.67 0.3/1
8:00 NBC Olympics Closing Ceremony/Volleyball 23.51 6.4/19
  CBS Big Brother 10 6.17 2.2/6
  ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (repeat) 4.26 1.4/4
  FOX Simpsons (repeat) 3.64 1.6/5
  CW Everybody Hates Chris (repeat) 0.64 0.3/1
8:30 FOX Family Guy (repeat) 4.31 2.1/5
  CW Aliens in American (repeat) 0.62 0.2/0
9:00 NBC Olympics Closing Ceremony/Volleyball 29.26 8.8/22
  ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (repeat) 5.60 1.9/5
  CBS Million Dollar Password (repeat) 3.90 1.1/3
  FOX Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles (repeat) 2.59 1.0/2
  CW The Game (repeat) 1.12 0.4/1
9:30 CW Girlfriends (repeat) 1.03 0.4/1
10:00 NBC Olympics Closing Ceremony/Volleyball 23.52 7.1/19
  CBS Cold Case (repeat) 5.76 1.6/4
  ABC Desperate Housewives (repeat) 3.21 1.1/3


Overnights: Local metered-market ratings service of Nielsen Station Index (NSI) in which household ratings and shares are provided to clients the morning following the day or evening of telecast.

Rating: Estimated percentage of the universe of TV households (or other specified group) tuned to a program in the average minute. Ratings are expressed as a percent.

Share (of Audience): The percent of households (or persons) using television who are tuned to a specific program, station or network in a specific area at a specific time. (See also, Rating, which represents tuning or viewing as a percent of the entire population being measured.)

LIVE+SD: The number that watched a program either while it was broadcast OR watched via DVR on the same day [through 3AM the next day] the program was broadcast.

For more information see Numbers 101.

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