I must be going through NBC press release withdrawals. Oh, fear not, it's still issuing releases left and right, but it's just not the same. The Olympics came with a lot of data.
In the end, the Beijing games which averaged 27.7 million during prime-time on NBC outperformed both the Athens games in 2004 (24.6 million) and the Sydney games in 2000 (21.6 million). The closing ceremonies in Beijing also bettered Athens and Sidney. The closing ceremonies in Beijing averaged 27.8 million versus 19.6 million for Athens and 16.7 million for Sidney. And according to NBC, over 214 million people watched at least six minutes of coverage on either NBC or one of its cable networks, making it the most-watched "event" of all time.
It's hard to know exactly how much of the bump was related to the economy and people staying home because they didn't feel like spending money on gas. But it's not unthinkable that there will be further increases still in 2012 in Vancouver. It's in our continent which should make some of the time zone issues more favorable London. It's the winter 2010 games that are in Vancouver...
Cable Miscellany...DVRs Give Edge to The Closer
We unfortunately didn't see the usual weekly top cable shows yet. We did see the live viewing only detail, but not the LIVE+SD (same day DVR viewing) data that is the standard Nielsen ratings currency (for the media, not the ad buyers). In the live version the Cheetah Girls: One Love movie was number one barely edging out The Closer by less than 10,000 viewers . However, even though we didn't see the full ratings data, we do know The Closer did edge out the Cheetah Girls in the final live+SD rankings (6.4 million to 6.2 million).
As noted by at least one person in the comments, while a weekly top show, this installment of the Cheetah Girls had the worst ratings. The previous two Cheetah Girl movies garnered 6.5 million and 7.8 million.
The Closer gets quite a bit of DVR usage the same night the show airs. Over 10% of its live+SD viewing came via DVR viewing the same night the show aired, at least this week.
Mad Men Madness...
I know some of you are dying to know how Mad Men did this past Sunday. I haven't seen any ratings yet. My guess is that it was more or less on par with the previous week when it had 1.1 million viewers and had already lost about a million viewers from its season two premiere when it had around 2.1 million. However many viewers it had, it wasn't enough for AMC to get bent over the micro-blogging service Twitter, which made Twitter take down accounts from people posing as characters from Mad Men.
I'm not a huge Twitter user, but enough people had told me about the Mad Men stuff that I took a look at it, and the people behind it were so in character I'd assumed that AMC had paid some kind of social-media company to run that for them. Nope, it turns out it was just fans of the show. After a almost a year of this web site, it shouldn't really surprise me the lengths fans will sometimes go to in order to show appreciation for the shows they love, but it still does surprise me ( a nice surprise, usually!).
While I understand wanting to protect your intellectual property and trademarks, it seems like the intellectual property was being so well-respected perhaps AMC should've been a little less quick to pull it down. But an amazingly cool thing apparently happened: AMC was convinced by one of its marketing firms that free marketing is in fact a good thing, and the Mad Men character accounts on Twitter that had been pulled down are back again.
If I ever see the Mad Men numbers for Sunday, I'll post them.