NBC had hoped 200 million would watch at least part of the coverage.  Through the first 16 days it was at 185 million, that surpasses the 184 million who caught at least part of the Torino games in 2006 and just behind the 187 million who watched the 2002 games in Salt Lake City.

With a big bump for the final day and closing ceremonies it could pass the Salt Lake City games, but still likely fall far short of the 200 million goal, and well behind the 204 million for the 1994 games in Lillehammer, Norway which featured the infamous Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding storyline.  The 2008 summer games from Beijing reached 215 million viewers.

Via NBC press release:


Surpasses Total Games Viewership for Torino, Nagano, Albertville

20.6 Million Average Viewers Saturday Night on NBC in Primetime, Four From Comparable Saturday at 2006 Winter Games

65 Million People Watched the Olympics Saturday on the Networks of NBC Universal, 12 Million More Than the Comparable Day at the 2006 Winter Games.

VANCOUVER – February 28, 2010 – 185 million Americans have watched the Vancouver Olympics on the networks of NBC Universal through 16 days of the Games; four million more than watched the first 16 days of the 2006 Winter Games (181 million), according to data available today from The Nielsen Company.

With 185 million viewers, the Vancouver Games (with still one day remaining) move past the Torino Games, Nagano Games and Albertville Games. When the final viewership numbers are available tomorrow, Vancouver will likely surpass the Salt Lake City Games (187 million ) and will trail only the *tabloid-fueled Lillehammer Games as the most-watched Winter Olympics in history.


1. Lillehammer, 1994                       204 million (Entire Games)

2. Salt Lake City, 2002     187 million (Entire Games)

3. Vancouver, 2010                          185 million (through 16 days – One day remaining)

T4. Torino, 2006                                184 million (Entire Games)

T4. Albertville, 1992                         184 million (Entire Games)

T4. Nagano, 1998                              184 million (Entire Games)

*Fueled by the tabloid coverage of the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandal.

OLYMPICS DOMINATE PRIMETIME COMETITION: Through 16 nights the Olympics on NBC are drawing more than two million more viewers than the other three major networks combined (10 percent advantage).  The Vancouver Olympics are averaging 24.5 million viewers in primetime, more than doubling Fox, tripling CBS and quadrupling ABC over that span.

OLYMPICS ON NBC          24.5 million

Fox/CBS/ABC combined:              22.2 million (10 percent advantage)

Fox                                                         9.6 million (155 percent advantage)

CBS                                                        7.2 million (240 percent advantage)

ABC                                                        5.4 million (354 percent advantage)

SATURDAY NIGHT UP 25 PERCENT FROM COMPARABLE NIGHT IN 2006; DOMINATES PRIMETIME: Saturday night’s coverage drew 20.6 million viewers, four million more than the comparable night at the 2006 Winter Games (16.5 million, up 25%).

·               Last night the Olympics averaged 20.6 million viewers, more than six million more than the combined delivery of the other three major networks (ABC, CBS, Fox: 14.0 million), beating the three together by 47 percent.

16-DAY AVERAGE IS 4 MILLION MORE THAN 2006: The 24.5 million average viewers through 16 nights of the Vancouver Games is four million more and 19 percent higher than the average viewership of the 2006 Winter Games through 16 nights (20.6 million).

The national household rating of 11.7/21 for Saturday night is up two full ratings points and 21 percent higher than the comparable night at the 2006 Winter Games (9.7/17).  The 13.9/23 average household rating-to-date is 13 percent higher than 2006 (12.3/20).

NBC OLYMPICS MOBILE: 82 MILLION PAGE VIEWS: NBC Olympics Mobile platforms (Mobile Web Site and iTunes App), through 16 days have amassed 82 million page views, 47 million more than the total number of page views for the entire 17-day Beijing Games (34.7 million).

·               There have been 1.9 million mobile video streams in 16 days, more than six times the total number for the entire 17-day Beijing Games (301k).

·               By the time the Opening Ceremony broadcast started at 7:30 p.m. on Feb 12, NBC Olympics Mobile already generated more page views than the entire 2006 Winter Games (1.0 million).

NBCOLYMPICS.COM HAS MORE THAN TRIPLE THE USERS OF THE ENTIRE 2006 WINTER GAMES: Through 16 days, NBCOlympics.com has delivered 44.1 million total unique users, 31 million more unique users and 232 percent higher than the entire 17 days of the 2006 Winter Games (13.3 million).

·               NBCOlympics.com’s 682 million page views through 16 days is more than double the total for the 17 days of the 2006 Winter Games (331 million).

·               Through 16 days, NBCOlympics.com has seen 43.2 million video streams serving more than 3.3 million hours of video, nearly 35 million more than the total number of video streams from the 2006 Winter Games (8.4 million).

NOTE: All data for NBCOlympics.com and NBC Olympics Mobile is provided by Omniture.


Mountain Time Zone                      18.9/31

Central Time Zone                           15.5/24

Pacific Time Zone                             15.3/28

Eastern Time Zone                          14.8/23

TOP 25 METERED MARKETS (16-Day Average):

1. SALT LAKE CITY, 22.0/37

2. DENVER, 21.4/35

3. MILWAUKEE, 21.1/33

4. SEATTLE, 19.7/36

5. MINNEAPOLIS, 19.2/33

6. ST. LOUIS, 18.5/29

7. COLUMBUS, 18.0/28

9. SAN DIEGO, 17.9/30

T10. PORTLAND, 17.8/33

T10. WEST PALM BEACH, 17.8/26

12. KANSAS CITY, 17.6/27

13. OKLAHOMA CITY, 17.2/26

14. NASHVILLE, 17.1/25

15. FT.MYERS, 17.0/27

16. TULSA, 16.9/25

17. AUSTIN, 16.8/27

18. CLEVELAND, 16.7/26

19. PROVIDENCE, 16.5/27

T20. BOSTON, 16.4/29

T20. PHOENIX, 16.4/27

22. CINCINNATI, 16.3/25

T23. CHICAGO, 15.8/25

T23. SAN FRANCISCO, 15.8/30

T23. DETROIT, 15.8/25

T23. SACRAMENTO, 15.8/28

T23. INDIANAPOLIS, 15.8/26

T23. RICHMOND, 15.8/24


1. SEATTLE, 17.1/31

2. SALT LAKE CITY, 16.9/30

3. FT.MYERS, 16.7/25

4. TULSA, 16.5/26

5. MILWAUKEE, 16.0/28

6. PORTLAND, 15.8/28

7. CLEVELAND, 15.7/25

8. ST. LOUIS, 15.2/26

9. DENVER, 15.0/28

10. SAN DIEGO, 14.8/23

T11. BOSTON, 14.4/25

T11. CINCINNATI, 14.4/23

13. COLUMBUS, 14.3/23

14. PITTSBURGH, 13.8/21

T15. SAN FRANCISCO, 13.6/27

T15. OKLAHOMA CITY, 13.6/21

T17. MINNEAPOLIS, 13.5/26

T17. AUSTIN, 13.5/24

19. SACRAMENTO, 13.4/23

20. WEST PALM BEACH, 13.3/20

21. TAMPA, 13.2/21

T22. ORLANDO, 13.1/21

T22. HARTFORD, 13.1/22

T22. KANSAS CITY, 13.1/22

T22. ALBUQUERQUE, 13.1/20

T22. KNOXVILLE, 13.1/18

NBC Universal, broadcasting its record 12th Olympics the most Olympics broadcast by any network, will present more than 835 hours of Vancouver Olympic Winter Games coverage – representing the most total hours ever for a Winter Olympics, more than the last two Winter Olympics combined, and the most live hours ever for a Winter Games. The Vancouver Games are the first Winter Olympics to be presented entirely in high definition.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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