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Winter Olympics: NBCSN Sets Network Daytime, Event Records

The first official day of the Sochi Games was a strong one for NBC Olympics.

NBCSN began its first-ever Winter Olympics with a record-breaking Saturday, capped by the national cable network’s most-watched event ever.

Meanwhile, NBC’s primetime Olympic telecast exceeded the comparable night in 2006, the last time the Winter Games were contested in Europe, and was close to the Peacock’s live coverage from Vancouver in 2010.

NBCSN averaged 2.6 million viewers from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (ET), more than doubling its 1 million average audience in the same window during the 2012 London Games.  The Feb. 8 delivery marked the network's best-ever daytime performance.

NBCSN presentation of the new team figure skating competition in the 1 p.m. hour averaged 4.9 million viewers, its most ever, surpassing the 4.4 million who watched Team USA’s women’s soccer gold medal match in London.

The Peacock’s curated primetime telecast, which featured Sage Kotsenburg (pictured) of the U.S. winning gold in the inaugural men’s snowboarding slopestyle competition, averaged 13.9 household rating/24 share and 25.1 million viewers from 8 p.m. to 11:06 p.m., according to Nielsen live+ same-day fast national data. That was up 8% and 3% from the 23.2 million and 13.5/23 for the first night from the 2006 Torino Olympics. The performance was the best on broadcast in February since the second Saturday of the Vancouver Games, when NBC tallied 26.6 million watchers on Feb. 20, 2010.

NBC's Feb. 8 telecast was down 1% from the 14.0/25 from the first Saturday during the 2010 Vancouver Games, with the audience off 4% from the 26.2 million who tuned in live to see Apolo Anton Ohno win a silver medal in the men’s 1500 meter short track and Hannah Kearney garner gold in women’s moguls.

For the second consecutive night, NBC scored the most dominant primetime Winter Olympics victory on record against adults 18 to 49 with a 6.3 rating -- 350% above the combined ABC/CBS/Fox mark, based on people meter dating to 1987.