Winter Olympics: NBC Notches Best Second-Wednesday Performance Since 2002 Games

NBC’s primetime presentation from Sochi ruled on Wednesday night, versus the comparable night from the Torino and Vancouver Winter Games.

The Peacock’s Feb. 19 curated telecast – highlighted by American Ted Ligety scoring gold in the giant slalom and the ladies’ figure skating short program – averaged a 12.2 rating/20 share and 20.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen live + same-day fast national data. Those deliveries represented the most-watched and highest-rated second Wednesday of a Winter Olympics since NBC’s live telecast from Salt Lake City in 2002.

The Sochi showcase surpassed the 10.0/15 and 16 million viewers for the comparable night in Torino, the last time the Winter Games were hosted in Europe, by 22% and 26%, respectively. NBC’s primetime viewership of the Sochi Olympics has topped Torino on 11 of the Games’ first 13 nights.

The Wednesday night program edged NBC’s live telecast from the corresponding Wednesday in Vancouver, which yielded an 11.9/19 and 19.8 million viewers.

The simultaneous tripleheader of live Winter Olympics action from noon-2:30 p.m. (ET)/9 am.-11:30 a.m. (PT) on NBCUniversal cable networks  – U.S.-Czech Republic and Canada-Latvia men’s hockey quarterfinals on USA Network and MSNBC, respectively, and the ladies’ figure skating short program on NBCSN -- combined for the largest weekday cable audience tally from Sochi with 4 million watchers.

Team USA’s 5-2 men’s hockey quarterfinal victory over the Czech Republic averaged 1.9 million viewers on the "characters welcome" channel, while Canada’s 2-1 men’s hockey win over Latvia on the news network scored with 480,000 viewers. The ladies’ figure skating short program in the same time period on the national cable sports service was watched by 1.6 million viewers on average.