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[08/26/08 - 02:46 PM]
NBC Dominates the Primetime Week, with the Beijing Olympics Scoring as the Most Viewed Event in U.S. TV History
NBC spins the numbers for the week of August 18-24.

[via press release from NBC]

NBC DOMINATES THE PRIMETIME WEEK, WITH THE BEIJING OLYMPICS SCORING AS THE MOST VIEWED EVENT IN U.S. TV HISTORY

NBC RULES THE WEEK OF AUG. 18-24, QUADRUPLING THE RESULTS OF THE #2 NETWORK IN 18-49 AND TOTAL VIEWERS

214 MILLION VIEWERS WATCH THE OLYMPICS ON THE NETWORKS OF NBC UNIVERSAL, TOPPING THE 1996 ATLANTA GAMES AS THE COUNTRY'S MOST VIEWED TV EVENT EVER

NBC BEATS THE COMBINED ABC-CBS-FOX COMPETITION ON ALL 17 NIGHTS OF THE GAMES, MAKING THIS THE MOST DOMINANT STRETCH FOR ANY NET IN THE HISTORY OF NIELSEN'S PEOPLE METER SAMPLE

LAST WEEK'S EIGHT PRIMETIME OLYMPIC TELECASTS ON NBC CLAIM THE WEEK'S TOP EIGHT RANKINGS IN ALL KEY CATEGORIES

BURBANK, Calif. � August 26, 2008 � NBC's coverage of the Summer Olympic Games from Beijing, the most viewed event in U.S. television history, has dominated ratings results for the week of August 18-24, delivering more than four times the ratings of the week's #2 network in adults 18-49 and total viewers.

According in-home viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research, NBC averaged a 7.4 rating, 21 share in adults 18-49, 23.3 million viewers overall and a 13.9 rating/23 share in households for the primetime week of August 18-24. Those averages generated margins over the week's #2 finishers of 363 percent in 18-49 (7.4 vs. 1.6 for second-place CBS), 313 percent in total viewers (23.3 million vs. CBS's 5.6 million) and 266 percent in households (13.9 vs. CBS's 3.8).

Last week's margins, coupled with NBC's advantages for the prior two weeks (which also involved Olympics coverage), make NBC the first network in the nearly 21-year history of Nielsen's current People Meter sample to win three straight primetime weeks by margins of 211 percent or more over second place in adults 18-49, as well as the first to win three weeks in a row by at least 211 percent in total viewers.

NBC also set records in People Meter history for biggest margins over the combined major-network competition for three consecutive weeks, with wins of 24 percent or more over ABC, CBS and Fox combined for three straight weeks in 18-49 and 23 percent or more in total viewers.

NBC is the first network since February 2002 (Salt Lake City Winter Games) to deliver a 7.4 rating or higher in adults 18-49 during two consecutive weeks or to average 23.3 million total viewers or more during two straight weeks.

Through Sunday's concluding Olympics telecast, a total of 214 million viewers watched at least a portion of the Beijing games on the networks of NBC Universal, making this the most-viewed event in U.S. television history. The prior mark was 209 million for NBC's coverage of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games.

The Beijing Olympics 17-day average primetime viewership of 27.7 million is 13 percent higher than Athens in 2004 (24.6 million), making this the best primetime average viewership for a Summer Olympics outside the U.S. since Montreal in 1976. NBC's average of a 16.2 rating, 28 share in households is an 8 percent increase over Athens in 2004 (15.0/26) and the best rating for a Summer Olympics outside the U.S. since Barcelona in 1992 (17.1/33).

In primetime, NBC's coverage won each of the 17 Olympic nights over the combined ABC-CBS-Fox results in adults 18-49, total viewers and household rating, making this the most dominant period for any network in the history of Nielsen's People Meter Sample (dating back to September 1987). NBC's Olympics coverage also won each of its 100 rated half-hours against all network competition in adults 18-49, total viewers and households.

NBC's eight primetime Olympics telecasts last week (seven nights of coverage plus Sunday's "Beijing Closing Party") claimed the top eight spots in the weekly program rankings in every key ratings category. Tuesday's coverage was #1 for the week in adults 18-49 with a 9.1 rating, 26 share, and Sunday's telecast, which included coverage of the Closing Ceremony, was #1 in total viewers with an average of 27.8 million persons.

Primetime averages for the week of August 18-24 in adults 18-49 were NBC (7.4/21), CBS (1.6/5), Univision (1.4/4), Fox (1.2/4), ABC (1.2/3), Telemundo (0.5/2) and CW (0.5/2). In overall total viewers the weekly averages were NBC (23.3 million), CBS (5.6 million), ABC (3.6 million), Fox (3.5 million), Univision (3.4 million), CW (1.4 million) and Telemundo (1.1 million).

Through 48 weeks of the 2007-08 season, NBC is running #2 in adults 18-49 and up 4 percent versus its year-ago rating while ABC is down 10 percent, CBS is down 19 percent and Fox is up 3 percent. NBC has finished #1, #2 or tied for #2 for the last six weeks in a row. Season-to-date averages in adults 18-49 for the period September 24, 2007 through August 24, 2008 are Fox (a 3.7 rating), NBC (2.9), ABC (2.7), CBS (2.6) and CW (0.9).

NBC is the only major network that has not seen its audience get significantly older this season versus last and it is now the "second-youngest" of the major broadcast networks. Through the first 48 weeks of the 2007-08 season, NBC is running within 0.4 years of its median age from the prior season (48.8 years this season vs. 48.4 years last season). In this same comparison, ABC's median age has increased by 1.7 years (to 48.8 from 47.1 years old at this point last season), CBS's median age has increased by 0.8 years (to 53.3 from 52.5) and Fox's median age has increased by 1.5 years (to 44.0 from 42.5).

NBC highlights for the week of August 18-24:

* On Monday, NBC's primetime Olympics telecast averaged 26.4 million viewers, besting the comparable night of the 2004 Athens Olympics by 2 percent. NBC's Monday coverage beat ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 136 percent in 18-49 and 127 percent in total viewers.

* On Tuesday, NBC's primetime Olympics coverage averaged 26.6 million viewers, improving on the comparable night of the 2004 Athens Olympics by 6 percent. NBC's Tuesday coverage beat ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 98 percent in 18-49 and 90 percent in total viewers.

* On Wednesday, NBC's primetime Olympics telecast averaged 24.8 million viewers, improving on the comparable night of the 2004 Athens Olympics by 2 percent. NBC's Monday coverage outscored ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 110 percent in 18-49 and 87 percent in total viewers.

* On Thursday, NBC's primetime Olympics coverage averaged 22.4 million viewers, topping the comparable night of the 2004 Athens Olympics by 4 percent. NBC's Monday coverage outscored ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 59 percent in 18-49 and 51 percent in total viewers.

* In primetime on Friday, NBC topped ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 45 percent in adults 18-49 and 43 percent in total viewers.

* Saturday's primetime Olympics coverage topped ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 43 percent in adults 18-49 and 50 percent in total viewers.

* On Sunday, NBC's coverage of the Closing Ceremony averaged 27.8 million viewers, up 42 percent versus the closing night in Athens, making this the best delivery for a Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony outside the U.S. since Montreal in 1976.

* In primetime on Sunday, NBC topped ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 90 percent in adults 18-49 and 110 percent in total viewers.

Ratings reflect "live plus same day" data unless otherwise noted. Season-to-date figures are averages of "live plus seven day" data except for the two most recent weeks, which are "live plus same day."

Additional NBC highlights for the week of August 18-24:

On Monday, August 18, NBC's primetime coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics averaged an 8.9 rating, 24 share in adults 18-49, 26.4 million viewers overall and a 15.8/26 household rating/share for its full duration from 8-11:30 p.m. ET. The 8-11 p.m. primetime portion of NBC's Monday Olympics coverage averaged an 8.5/23 in adults 18-49, 25.9 million viewers overall and a 15.4/25 household rating/share.

Monday night's 8-11:30 p.m. ET coverage garnered 67 million viewers who watched some or all of the primetime coverage. The telecast's average 26.4 million viewers is a 2 percent gain versus the comparable night in Athens (25.9 million).

In 8-11 p.m. ET primetime averages Monday night, NBC beat ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 136 percent in 18-49 (8.5 vs. a combined 3.6) and 127 percent in total viewers (25.9 million vs. 11.4 million).

On Tuesday, August 19, NBC's coverage of the Beijing Olympics averaged a 9.1/26 in adults 18-49, 26.6 million viewers overall and a 16.3/27 household rating/share for its full duration from 8-11:44 p.m. ET. The 8-11 p.m. primetime portion of NBC's Tuesday Olympics coverage averaged an 8.5/23 in adults 18-49, 25.7 million viewers overall and a 15.7/25 household rating/share.

A total of 71 million persons watched all or some of Tuesday's 8-11:44 p.m. ET telecast. The night's 26.6 million average viewership bested the comparable night of the 2004 Athens Olympics (25.0 million) by more than 1.6 million persons, or 6 percent. In 18-49, the Tuesday coverage topped Athens by 5 percent (with a 9.1 rating vs. an 8.7).

On Tuesday in primetime from 8-11 p.m., NBC beat the combined ABC-CBS-Fox 18-49 rating by 98 percent (8.5 vs. a combined 4.3). In total viewers, NBC beat the combined ABC-CBS-Fox competition by 90 percent (25.7 million vs. a combined 13.5 million).

On Wednesday, August 20, NBC's Olympics coverage averaged a 8.4/25 in adults 18-49, 24.8 million viewers overall and a 15.2/26 household rating/share for its full duration from 8-11:44 p.m. ET. The 8-11 p.m. primetime portion of NBC's Wednesday Olympics coverage averaged a 8.2/23 in adults 18-49, 24.7 million viewers overall and a 15.0/25 household rating/share.

A total of 67 million viewers watched some or all of NBC's Wednesday primetime Olympics coverage, with an average of 24.8 million, up 2 percent versus the comparable night of the 2004 Athens Olympics (24.3 million).

In 8-11 p.m. primetime Wednesday, NBC beat the combined ABC-CBS-Fox 18-49 rating by 110 percent (8.2 vs. a combined 3.9). In total viewers, NBC beat the combined ABC-CBS-Fox competition by 87 percent (24.7 million vs. a combined 13.2 million from 8-11 p.m.).

On Thursday, August 21, NBC's coverage of the Beijing Olympics averaged a 7.3/23 in adults 18-49, 22.4 million viewers overall and a 13.8/23 household rating/share for its official duration from 8-11 p.m. ET.

On Thursday, NBC's 8-11 p.m. average beat the combined ABC-CBS-Fox rating by 59 percent in adults 18-49 (7.3 vs. a combined 4.6) and by 51 percent in total viewers (22.4 million vs. a combined 14.8 million).

A total of 58 million viewers watched some or all of NBC's Thursday primetime Olympics coverage, with an average of 22.4 million, up 4 percent versus the comparable night of the 2004 Athens Olympics (21.5 million).

On Friday, August 22, NBC's coverage of the Beijing Olympics averaged a 5.5/18 in adults 18-49, 17.9 million viewers overall and a 10.7/19 household rating/share for its official duration from 8:30-11 p.m. ET.

On Friday, NBC's 8:30-11 p.m. average beat the combined ABC-CBS-Fox primetime result by 45 percent in adults 18-49 (5.5 vs. a combined 3.8) and 43 percent in total viewers (17.9 million vs. a combined 12.5 million from 8-11 p.m.).

A total of 46 million viewers watched some or all of the Friday 8:30-11 p.m. telecast.

On Saturday, August 23, NBC's coverage of the Beijing Olympics averaged a 5.1/16 in adults 18-49, 16.8 million viewers overall and a 10.3/19 household rating/share for its official duration from 9-11:06 p.m. ET. The 9-11 p.m. primetime portion of NBC's Saturday Olympics coverage averaged a 5.0/16 in adults 18-49, 16.6 million viewers overall and a 10.2/19 household rating/share.

Saturday's 9-11 p.m. average beat the combined ABC-CBS-Fox primetime result by 43 percent in adults 18-49 (5.0 vs. a combined 3.5) and 50 percent in total viewers (16.6 million vs. a combined 11.1 million from 8-11 p.m.).

Saturday night's coverage attracted 43 million total viewers who watched some or all of the 9-11 p.m. telecast.

On Sunday, August 24, NBC's primetime coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, including the Closing Ceremony, averaged an 8.2/21 in adults 18-49, 27.8 million viewers overall and a 15.5/25 household rating/share for its official duration from 8-10:30 p.m. ET.

Versus the Athens Summer Games, Sunday's coverage was up 8.3 million persons or 42 percent in total viewers (27.8 million vs. 19.6 million) and up 30 percent in household rating (15.5/25 vs. 11.9/20). In both categories, the Closing Ceremony from Beijing was the best delivery for a Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony outside the U.S. since Montreal in 1976.

From 10:30-11 p.m. ET, "The Beijing Closing Party" dominated the time period in all key ratings categories with a 6.2/17 in adults 18-49, 20.6 million viewers overall and a 12.3/21 household rating/share.

In Sunday primetime averages (8-11 p.m. ET for NBC, 7-11 p.m. for ABC and CBS, 7-10 p.m. for Fox), NBC beat ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 90 percent in 18-49 (7.8 vs. a combined 4.1) and 110 percent in total viewers (26.7 million vs. 12.7 million).





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