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[02/26/10 - 09:25 AM]
Olympics Beats Idol, Again
NBC spins the numbers for Thursday, February 25.

[via press release from NBC]

OLYMPICS BEATS IDOL, AGAIN

Head to Head (8-9 p.m.) Olympics 19.2 Million, Idol 17.8 Million

Olympics Draws 22.9 Million Thursday Night

Olympics Vs. Idol From 8-9 p.m. Featured Ski Jumping and Alpine Skiing

VANCOUVER - February 26, 2010 - The Olympics on NBC last night beat American Idol for the second time in two weeks. Idol had been undefeated in six years (dating back to May 2004). When going head-to-head against Idol (8-9 p.m.), the Olympics out-drew Idol 19.2 million vs. 17.8 million an advantage of eight percent. Head-to-head (8-9 p.m.), the Olympics out-rated Idol by more than a full rating point (11.4 vs. 10.2) among households based.

On the night (8 p.m. - 11:55 p.m.), NBC's Olympic broadcast that featured figure skating's ladies free skate later in the broadcast, drew an average audience of 22.9 million, with a peak of 25.0 million in the 9-10 p.m. hour, according to data provided by The Nielsen Company

"I never thought we would have the good fortune to beat the incredibly well-produced and enduring phenomenon of American Idol even once. But twice? At best, I deeply believed we might come a little closer than we did four years ago because the show is such a powerhouse. We are happy to rent Idol's space for a few nights. All the thanks goes to the athletes of the world who give us these great stories to tell. Their stories are the stars of our show -- and led to these two 'miracles' -- just as the young entertainers are the stars of Idol," said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports and Olympics.

The Olympics on NBC from 8-9 p.m. featured Olympics storytelling including the free skate of Turkish figure skater, Tugba Karademir who, coming into the free skate, was in 20th place out of 24 skaters. Also in the 8-9 p.m. hour was the ski jumping portion of the nordic combined, which, after the cross-country portion that aired later in the night, concluded with gold and silver medals for American's Billy Demong and Johnny Spillane respectively, and coverage of the women's giant slalom. The 8-9 p.m. hour was the least-watched hour of NBC's Olympic coverage last night.

On the night, NBC's Olympic broadcast that featured figure skating's ladies free skate later in the broadcast, drew an average audience of 22.9 million, with a peak of 25.0 million in the 9-10 p.m. hour. The 22.9 million was below the comparable night at the 2006 Winter Games (25.7 million, the most-watched night of the 2006 Winter Games that had American skating star Sasha Cohen leading and favored to win a gold medal skating that night).

HOUR-BY-HOUR VIWERSHIP LAST NIGHT
8-9 p.m. 19.2 million (American Idol, 17.8 million)
9-10 p.m. 25.0 million
10-11 p.m. 23.3 million
11-11:55 p.m. 24.3 million

Some Additional Highlights:

� It marked only the second time that Idol was defeated in P2+ (average viewership) since May 17, 2004. The first defeat for Idol was last Wednesday when the Olympics became the first program to beat Idol in six years.

� On the comparable Thursday night at the 2006 Winter Games (the highest-rated and most-viewed night from Torino, featuring a silver medal from American figure skating star Sasha Cohen) when going head-to-head (8-9 p.m.) Idol out-drew the Olympics by nearly six million (23.4 million vs.17.8 million) and out-rated the Olympics by more than two full rating points (13.3 vs. 11.1 among households).

� On a competitive television night, the Olympics drew nearly eight million more viewers than an original episode of Survivor on CBS (19.2 million vs. 11.5 million, an advantage of 67 percent, head-to-head from 8-9 p.m.).

224-2:

� With the Olympics win against Idol last night, the juggernaut is now 224-2 in nearly six years since May 2004. The only programs that beat Idol head-to-head over that six-year span were two NBC Olympic broadcasts, last night's and last Wednesday's Olympics on NBC.

14-DAY AVERAGE IS 3.6 MILLION MORE THAN 2006: The 24.7 million average viewers through 14 nights of the Vancouver Games is 3.6 million more and 17 percent higher than the average viewership of the 2006 Winter Games through 14 nights (21.1 million).

The 14.0/23 average household rating-to-date is 10 percent higher than 2006 (12.7/20). The national household rating of 13.6/23 for Thursday night is down from the comparable night at the 2006 Winter Games (15.8/24, the highest-rated night of the 17-nights of the 2006 Winter Games).

METERED MARKET RATINGS BY TIME ZONE (14-Day Average):
Mountain Time Zone 19.2/31
Central Time Zone 15.7/24
Pacific Time Zone 15.4/28
Eastern Time Zone 15.0/24

TOP 25 METERED MARKETS (14-Day Average):
1. SALT LAKE CITY, 22.2/37
2. DENVER, 21.9/36
3. MILWAUKEE, 21.4/33
4. SEATTLE, 19.8/37
5. MINNEAPOLIS, 19.7/33
6. ST. LOUIS, 18.8/29
7. COLUMBUS, 18.4/29
T8. SAN DIEGO, 18.1/30
T8. WEST PALM BEACH, 18.1/27
T10. PORTLAND, 17.9/33
T10. KANSAS CITY, 17.9/27
T12. NASHVILLE, 17.4/25
T12. OKLAHOMA CITY, 17.4/26
14. AUSTIN, 17.1/27
T15. TULSA, 17.0/25
T15. FT.MYERS, 17.0/27
17. CLEVELAND, 16.8/27
T18. BOSTON, 16.6/29
T18. PHOENIX, 16.6/27
T18. PROVIDENCE, 16.6/28
21. CINCINNATI, 16.4/25
22. INDIANAPOLIS, 16.1/26
T23. CHICAGO, 16.0/25
T23. WASHINGTON D.C., 16.0/26
T23. DETROIT, 16.0/26
T23. RICHMOND, 16.0/24

TOP 25 METERED MARKETS FOR THURSDAY, FEB. 25:
1. SALT LAKE CITY, 24.1/40
2. DENVER, 21.9/36
3. MILWAUKEE, 19.5/31
4. MINNEAPOLIS, 18.8/31
5. SAN DIEGO, 18.6/32
T6. SEATTLE, 18.5/36
T6. WEST PALM BEACH, 18.5/28
8. OKLAHOMA CITY, 18.4/27
9. KANSAS CITY, 18.2/28
10. ST. LOUIS, 18.1/29
11. ALBUQUERQUE, 18.0/28
T12. NASHVILLE, 17.2/25
T12. FT.MYERS, 17.2/28
14. COLUMBUS, 17.1/27
T15. SAN FRANCISCO, 16.9/33
T15. PROVIDENCE, 16.9/28
17. CHICAGO, 16.6/27
18. PITTSBURGH, 16.4/25
19. TULSA, 16.3/24
20. AUSTIN, 16.1/26
T21. WASHINGTON D.C., 16.0/27
T21. PORTLAND, 16.0/31
23. NEW YORK, 15.9/24
24. CINCINNATI, 15.8/25
25. DETROIT, 15.7/25

NBC Universal, broadcasting its record 12th Olympics the most Olympics broadcast by any network, will present more than 835 hours of Vancouver Olympic Winter Games coverage - representing the most total hours ever for a Winter Olympics, more than the last two Winter Olympics combined, and the most live hours ever for a Winter Games. The Vancouver Games are the first Winter Olympics to be presented entirely in high definition.





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