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[02/22/06 - 12:00 AM]
171 Million Viewers Watch the Olympics on the Networks of NBC Universal

[via press release from NBC]

171 MILLION VIEWERS WATCH THE OLYMPICS ON THE NETWORKS OF NBC UNIVERSAL

171 MILLION VIEWERS WATCH THE OLYMPICS ON THE NETWORKS OF NBC UNIVERSAL

NBC's Tuesday Night Olympics Broadcast Attracts 56 Million Total Viewers

NBC's Tuesday Night 15.5 HH Rating Highest Rated Night on NBC Since Aug. 2004

TORINO, Italy - Feb. 22, 2006 - 171.3 million total viewers have watched the Olympics on the networks of NBC Universal through the second Tuesday of the Games, pacing just one percent behind this same point during the Salt Lake Games (173.3 million). 56 million total, unduplicated viewers watched NBC's coverage of the Torino Games last night, according to Nielsen Media fast national ratings, ten percent higher than CBS's coverage of the second Tuesday of the Nagano Games (51 million). Last night's broadcast featured Sasha Cohen skating into first place in the ladies' figure skating short program, leading into Thursday night's gold medal final.

NBC DRAWS HIGHEST RATING SINCE AUG. 2004, UP 15% OVER COMPARABLE NIGHT IN NAGANO: Last night's coverage of the Torino Winter Olympics on NBC rated a 15.5/23, 15 percent higher than the second Tuesday of CBS' coverage of the Nagano Games in 1998 (13.5/21) and delivered an average of 25.1 million viewers (8:00 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET/PT), up 25 percent from Nagano (20.1 million), despite facing a two-hour "American Idol," 8-10 p.m. ET/PT.

NBC WINS 2nd CONSECUTIVE WEEK IN PRIMETIME, 1st TIME IN 18 MONTHS: Driven by NBC's coverage of the Torino Games, the network posted its second consecutive primetime win for the week in household ratings (11.7/18), average viewer delivery (19.4 million) and adults 18-49 (5.9/15), the first time NBC has won consecutive weeks in 18 months. Last week's primetime weekly win, containing the first three nights of Olympics coverage, was also the first in 18 months (Athens Games in August 2004). This was NBC's top in-season week in adults 18-49 since the "Friends" finale (week of May 3-9, 2004) and in total viewers in four years (week of Feb. 18-24, 2002, the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games).

OLYMPICS COVERAGE NEARLY TRIPLES NORMAL TUESDAY NIGHT DELIVERY: NBC's primetime (8-11 p.m. ET) 15.1 HH rating is 116 percent higher than its normal Tuesday night rating this season (7.0); NBC averaged 24.5 million viewers in primetime, more than 130 percent higher than its average Tuesday night delivery this season (10.7M).

BROADCAST PEAK: Last night's broadcast peaked with 28.8 million average viewers between 10-10:30 p.m. ET/PT as NBC began more than 90 minutes of straight ladies' figure skating coverage and Emily Hughes, sister of 2002 Salt Lake gold medalist Sarah Hughes, skated her short program. The household rating peaked with a 17.8 between 10-10:30 p.m. ET/PT and 11-11:30 p.m. ET/PT as Cohen. It's the highest rated primetime half-hour on NBC since Aug. 23, 2004 (Athens Games, 9:30-10 p.m., 19.0)

TORINO OLYMPICS ON CABLE: Through Tuesday, coverage of the Torino Games has reached 57.5 million total, unduplicated viewers on the cable networks of NBCU, 23 percent higher than the comparable time periods last year (46.6 million). To date, the Olympics on CNBC is averaging 667,000 total viewers (0.45 HH rating), up 561 percent from pre-Olympic first quarter numbers (101,000).

THE OLYMPICS IN PRIMETIME ON NBC

Tuesday Torino to Date through Tuesday, Feb. 21
HH Rating 15.5/23 12.5/20
A18-49 7.5 6.4
Average Viewers 25.1 million 21 million
Total Unduplicated 56 million 171 million

The networks of NBC Universal, NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC HD and Universal HD is providing more than 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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