Winter Olympics Ratings Down 6% on First Night

The first night of Olympic competition in primetime on NBC delivered an overnight 11.1 household rating and 19 share, down 6% from the same night from Sochi, Russia, four years ago.

Despite the small decline, NBC dominated the night, beating the other broadcast networks combined.

NBC pointed out that viewership for non-sports shows has dropped 21% over the four years since the last Winter Olympics, making last night’s numbers look stronger.

The overnight rating includes viewing on NBC and NBCSN, but not digital or streaming. NBC said a full Total Audience Delivery for the games will be released later in the day.

Thursday (Feb. 8) night’s coverage was the first time NBC presented its evening coverage live across all U.S. time zones. Live coverage on NBCSN opposite the NBC broadcast was also a first. The broadcast also had to content with live streaming on and the NBC Sports App.

The peak during NBC”s coverage came between 9 p.m. and 9:15 p.m., during Nathan Chan’ s disappointing performance in the figure skating team event.

The top markets for the Olympics on NBC and NBCSN were Salt Lake City, Utah, with a 17.7/33; Sacramento, Calif., 17.2/32; Seattle, 16.6/31; San Diego, 15.4/31; and Portland, Ore., 15.6.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.