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[02/13/06 - 12:00 AM]
112 Million Viewers Watch NBC's 1st Weekend of Olympics Coverage

[via press release from NBC]

112 MILLION VIEWERS WATCH NBC'S 1ST WEEKEND OF OLYMPICS COVERAGE

NBC Wins Sunday Night in Primetime Against ABC's Powerhouse Sunday Night Lineup, First Sunday Night Win Since 2005

TORINO, Italy -- February 13, 2006 -- One hundred and twelve million people watched the first weekend of the Torino Winter Olympics on the networks of NBC Universal. The primetime portion of NBC's broadcast Sunday night (13.5 household rating and 20 share, 7:30-11 p.m. ET/PT) out-rated ABC's powerhouse Sunday night lineup by 12 percent (12.1) and rated 133 percent higher than CBS (5.8) and 275 percent higher than Fox (3.6) for the night. The 13.5 primetime rating brought NBC its first Sunday night primetime victory since July 2005. 60 million total viewers watched NBC's Sunday night coverage as U.S. snowboarder Shaun White, "The Flying Tomato," grabbed Olympic gold in the men's halfpipe and Armin Zoeggeler took home Italy's first gold medal of the Torino Games in the men's luge.

NBC's primetime coverage last night averaged 23.6 million viewers, more than any other network in primetime last night (20.1M for ABC, 8.7M for CBS and 5.8M for Fox) and head-to-head, for the first time, averaged more viewers and a higher HH rating than ABC's "Desperate Housewives" between 9-10 p.m. ET/PT (26.3M vs. 23.2M, 14.7 v. 14.5).

The broadcast rating for Sunday night's program (7:30-11:16 p.m. ET) was a 13.3/20, compared to the first Sunday night of CBS's Nagano Games coverage (20.2/30), which, because of the differing competition schedules, featured the Olympics' most popular sport, figure skating (pairs short program).

Other notes:

- NBC's Torino Winter Olympics coverage outrated the underlying 4-network primetime average Sunday night by 73 percent (13.5 v. 7.8) and outrated the network's average Sunday night by 129 percent (13.5 v. 5.9).

- In primetime Sunday night, NBC's Torino Games coverage averaged a 7.5/16 in Adults 18-49, nearly tripling its 2.6 Sunday season average, and was the highest-rated night in 18-49 since the Athens Summer Games in Aug., 2004.

The networks of NBC Universal, NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC HD and Universal HD will provide 418 total hours of coverage - including the most live coverage - across the most platforms of any Winter Olympics in history of the XX Olympic Winter Games from Torino, Italy, Feb. 10-26.





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