Winter Olympics: NBC's Primetime Sochi Coverage Tops Torino's By 6% Overall

Wrapping up its Olympics coverage Sunday night with Sochi’s closing ceremony edging the conclusion of the Torino Games, NBC saw its primetime average for the 2014 event top the 2006 competition's by 6% overall.

The Peacock averaged an 8.7 rating/13 share and 15.1 million viewers from 8:33-10:36 p.m. on Feb. 23, according to Nielsen live + same-day fast national data. That was up by 2% from the 14.8 million who tuned in the closing ceremony from Torino, the last time the Winter Olympics were hosted on European soil. The end of the 2006 quadrennium posted an 8.9/13.

The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics closing ceremony – following that afternoon’s dramatic overtime win by Canada over the U.S. in the gold-medal hockey game – averaged a 12.1/19 and 21.4 million viewers.

Overall, NBC's primetime presentations averaged 21.4 million watchers for the Sochi Games from the opening ceremony on Feb. 7 through Sunday’s closing ceremony, up 6% from the 20.2 million for Torino; NBC’s 12.3/20 from Sochi primetime nipped Torino’s 12.2/19. NBC’s primetime coverage of the live (ET/CT) 2010 Vancouver Games averaged 24.4 million viewers, 12% ahead of Sochi's average audience, with a 13.8 household rating/23 share.

The Nancy & Tonya documentary (7-8:33 p.m. ET), in which Mary Carillo looked back at the controversial events surrounding Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding at the ladies’ 1994 Olympics figure skating competition from Lillehammer, Norway, was the second-ranked program in broadcast primetime on Feb. 23. The update on the contretemps -- which 20 years ago gave CBS the two highest ratings in Olympics history, and featured an exclusive sit-down interview with Kerrigan and a one-on-one with Harding -- averaged a 7.8/12 and 12.7 million watchers.

NBCUniversal officials said more complete TV and digital numbers from Sochi will be available on Tuesday.