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NBC Crows About Big Vancouver Numbers. Plus, Milwaukee Really Likes These Games

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With a week left to go in the Vancouver games, NBC has sent out a detailed press release touting the ratings for the biennial Dick Ebersol show, also known as the XXI Winter Olympics.

“Nightly News” and the “Today” show are singled out for their numbers as are MSNBC and CNBC which are showing Olympics competition at various times of the day.

MSNBC: MSNBC’s non-overnight programming is averaging 608,000 viewers an increase of 16 percent from the prior four-week period leading up to the Games and up two percent from the same period in Feb. 2009. (Ed. note: this does not include last night’s USA vs. Canada hockey game.)

CNBC: CNBC is averaging 788,000 viewers, pacing way ahead of the February 2009 comparable time periods (up 241 percent) and up 364 percent from the prior four-week viewer delivery before the Games.

The Milwaukee market, where many of the U.S. Olympians are from or train, is the #1 local market in the U.S. averaging a 36 share in primetime, meaning more than a third of all Milwaukeeans (Milwaukeeites/Southeastern Wisconsinites) are watching the games every night on NBC affiliate WTMJ-4.

Full release after the jump…


OLYMPIC HALO EFFECT: NBC’s VANCOUVER SUCCESS BOOSTS VIEWERSHIP ACROSS NBC UNIVERSAL PLATFORMS

Olympic Coverage Boosts NBCU Cable Viewership by 48%; NBC “Nightly News” & “Today” Increase Leads over Competition

NBC Olympics Mobile Already Surpasses Totals From Beijing

VANCOUVER – Feb. 22, 2010 – More than half of all Americans (162 million) have watched the Vancouver Olympics on the networks of NBC Universal through the first nine days of the Games; five million more than watched the first nine days of the 2006 Winter Games (157 million).

NOTE: National viewership and ratings through Sunday will be available later today.

NBC Universal is presenting 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 is the first Winter Olympics to be presented entirely in high definition.

- The unprecedented coverage has driven viewership increases to NBCU’s cable networks.

- NBC News sees impressive gains in viewership and competitive advantage for “NBC Nightly News, NBC News’ “Today,” and “Meet the Press.

- NBCOlympics.com has had a record number of page views and video streams, surpassing its total number from the entirety of the 2006 Winter Games through only 10 days.

- NBC Olympics mobile has already out-produced the total number of page views and more than tripled the number of video streams from the Beijing Games.

- NBC Affiliates are No. 1 in 53 of 56 Metered Markets.

The announcements were made today by Jeff Zucker, President and CEO, NBC Universal.

“This once again proves the power of big events on network television,” said Zucker. “The Olympics casts a halo across our entire company. Our big-event strategy, best exemplified here in Vancouver, utilizes all of our platforms to aggregate the largest possible audience. In a media landscape that is continually fragmenting, the Olympics, now more than ever, reassembles the audience. We are reaching our audience everywhere they consume media, on the network in all dayparts, on cable, online and on mobile. We’re in the viewership business – that’s what we sell – and we are succeeding in increasing our viewership across all platforms.”

Here is a rundown of how Vancouver Olympic Winter Games “halo effect” benefited the various divisions and dayparts of NBC Universal:

MORE THAN HALF OF ALL AMERICANS HAVE WATCHED: More than half of all Americans (162 million) have watched the Vancouver Olympics on the networks of NBC Universal through the first nine days of the Games; five million more than watched the first nine days of the 2006 Winter Games (157 million).

VANCOUVER 9-DAY AVERAGE IS 6 MILLION MORE THAN 2006; BEST SINCE TABLOID-FUELED LILLEHAMMER GAMES: The 26.3 million average viewers for the first nine nights of the Vancouver Games is the most for a non-U.S. Winter Olympics since the *tabloid-fueled Lillehammer Games (38.7 million). The 26.3 million is nearly 6 million more and 28 percent higher than the average viewership of the first nine nights from Torino in 2006 (20.6 million).

*Fueled by the tabloid coverage of the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandal.

OLYMPICS BREAK AMERICAN IDOL WINNING STREAK: On Wednesday, Feb 17, the Olympics on NBC broke American Idol’s six-year unbeaten streak (222-0 vs. all competition since 2004). Head-to-head against Idol (9-10 p.m.), the Olympics drew nearly 12 million more viewers (30.1 million vs. 18.6 million) for an advantage of 62 percent. Head-to-head (9-10 p.m.), the Olympics out-rated Idol by 60 percent (17.0 vs. 10.6) among households and 29 percent among Adults 18-49 (9.0 vs. 7.0).

VIEWERSIP FOR AFTERNOON OLYMPIC BROADCASTS SHOW LARGE GAINS:

- Through nine days, the Monday-Friday afternoon coverage on NBC (five broadcasts), hosted by legendary broadcaster Al Michaels, has averaged 5.8 million viewers, an increase of 31 percent over the comparable days from Torino (4.5 million). NOTE: Today marks the 30th anniversary of the “Miracle on Ice” and Michaels’ legendary “Do you believe in miracles? YES!” call at the Lake Placid Olympics that stands as the most famous call in sports television history.

- The three weekend daytime broadcasts on NBC are averaging 12.0 million viewers, up 26 percent from the 2006 Winter Games (9.6 million).

- The eight late night broadcasts hosted by Mary Carillo are averaging 5.4 million viewers up three percent from the 2006 Winter Games (5.3 million).

OLYMPICS VS. PRIMETIME: VANCOUVER EQUALS SALT LAKE CITY:
Each Olympics shows substantial rating gains from the primetime television season. (Combined four network average: NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox).

The Vancouver Games are experiencing a 163 percent increase over the average primetime rating for the television season with an Olympic average household rating of 14.7 compared to a 5.6 for primetime. TV season began 9-21-2009.

T1. VANCOUVER 163% Olympics 14.7, Primetime season 5.6
T1. SALT LAKE CITY 163% Olympics 19.2, Primetime season 7.3
3. LILLEHAMMER 148% Olympics 27.8, Primetime season 11.2
4. NAGANO 83% Olympics 16.3, Primetime season 8.9
5. TORINO 79% Olympics 12.2, Primetime season 6.8
6. ALBERTVILLE 58% Olympics 18.7, Primetime season 11.8
7. CALGARY 45% Olympics 19.3, Primetime season 13.3

*For Calgary through Torino, the Olympic rating is for the full Olympics and the television season is calculated from September through May (excluding Olympic programming). For Vancouver the Olympic rating is through eight days and the television season is from September through the start of the Olympics.

CABLE

NBC CABLE – MORE VIEWERS, YOUNGER VIEWERS: Through Saturday, February 20, Olympics coverage on the cable networks of NBC Universal has reached nearly 50 million total viewers, up 48 percent from the comparable period in February 2009 (33.7 million).

Through Thursday, Feb.18, the Vancouver Games on the cable networks of NBCU are performing 46 percent above the February 2009 average and 71 percent above the prior four-week time period average among viewers; up 36 percent over the Feb. 2009 average and 57 percent above the prior four-week time period average in household rating, and 82 percent above the February 2009 average and 113 percent above the prior four-week time period average in the Adults 18-49 demo.

USA Network: Through Thursday, Feb. 18, the Olympics on USA Network are averaging 1.7 million viewers, up seven percent from the same time periods in Feb. 2009, and up 20 percent from the prior four-week viewer delivery before the Games. USA Networks viewers are, on average, more than four years younger than the same time periods in Feb. 2009.

MSNBC: MSNBC’s non-overnight programming is averaging 608,000 viewers an increase of 16 percent from the prior four-week period leading up to the Games and up two percent from the same period in Feb. 2009. The Olympics on MSNBC (through Thursday, Feb. 18) are attracting an audience with a median age of 47.1 years, 10.7 years younger than the February 2009 average, 14 years younger than the prior four week time period average.

CNBC: CNBC is averaging 788,000 viewers, pacing way ahead of the February 2009 comparable time periods (up 241 percent) and up 364 percent from the prior four-week viewer delivery before the Games. The Olympics on CNBC (through Thursday, Feb. 18) are attracting an audience with a median age of 44.2 years, 11.6 years younger than the February 2009 average, 10.6 years younger than the prior four week time period average.

NBC NEWS

“TODAY” SHOW: OLMPICS BOOST “TODAY” RATINGS:

- From Friday, Feb. 12 through Thursday, Feb 18, “Today” has seen ratings gains of 12 percent gain vs. the four-week period prior to the Olympics and seven percent vs. similar time period in 2009 (based on Metered Markets).

- Weekend Today on Saturday, Feb. 13 saw its best viewership ever, delivering 5.8 million total viewers, and its best advantage ever over GMA Saturday since the first weekend of the Torino Games (up 113 percent).

“NIGHTLY NEWS” WEEKEND EDITIONS DELIVER BIG VIEWERSHIP: Powered by NBC’s weekend coverage of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, weekend editions of “Nightly News” showed significant viewership gains.

- Saturday, Feb. 13, “Nightly News” attracted 12.4 million total viewers, 158 percent more than second place ABC’s World News Tonight (4.8 million). This represents Saturday Nightly’s best total viewer delivery since Feb. 11, 2006 (Torino Games).

- Sunday, February 14, “Nightly News’” numbers were even more impressive – averaging a 13.9 million – the Sunday edition’s most watched show since Aug. 12, 2008 (Beijing Games). This represents a 178 percent lead over ABC (5.0 million).

MEET THE PRESS DOMINATES COMPETITION:

- Sunday, Feb. 14, 4.1 million total viewers watched Meet the Press, featuring an interview with Vice President Biden from Vancouver, outperforming Face the Nation on CBS by 38 percent (3.0 million), This Week on ABC by 66 percent and FOX News Sunday by 245 percent. This was the best delivery for Meet the Press since March 22, 2009.

AFFILIATES

OLYMPICS BOOSTS NBC AFFILIATES; NO. 1 IN 53 OF 56 METERED MARKETS:
- The Olympics have helped to boost NBC’s affiliated stations. For the first 9 days of the Olympics (Feb 12-20), NBC affiliates were the No. 1 station in their market in 53 of the 56 metered markets with an increased 24-hour rating of 131 percent (6.0 vs. 2.6). During January, 12 NBC metered affiliates were No. 1 in their market.
- Late local news on the NBC affiliated stations increased 20 percent from the same period in Feb. 2009. Additionally, evening newscasts on local stations are also up 20 percent from the same period in Feb. 2009

“ACCESS HOLLYWOOD”: UP 52% ON NBC’S AFFILIATED STATIONS:

- NBC Universal’s syndicated 30-minute newsmagazine “Access Hollywood,” with co-host Billy Bush anchoring from Vancouver and co-host Maria Menunos from Whistler, airing preceding NBC’s primetime coverage of the Vancouver Games, shows a ratings increase of 52% on NBC affiliated stations compared to the prior four-week period.

NBC OLYMPICS DIGITAL

NBC OLYMPICS MOBILE SURGES: NBC’s Olympics Mobile platforms (WAP site and iTunes App), through just 10 days have amassed more than 54.3 million page views already surpassing the total number of page views for the entire 17-day Beijing Games (34.7 million) by 56 percent.

- There have been 1.3 million mobile video streams in just 10 days, more than four times the total number for the entire 17-day Beijing Games (301k).
- By the time the Opening Ceremony broadcast started at 7:30 p.m. on Feb 12, NBC’s Olympics Mobile had already generated more page views than the entire 2006 Winter Games (1.07 million).

NBCOLYMPICS.COM HAS MORE USERS THAN ENTIRE 2006 WINTER GAMES: In just eight days, NBCOlympics.com delivered 29.5 million total unique users, according to Omniture, more than 16 million more unique users and 122 percent higher than the entire 17 days of the 2006 Winter Games (13.3 million).

- NBCOlympics.com has delivered 26.2 million video streams to date – nearly 22 million more and 471% higher than Torino’s first 10 days (4.6 million).

TOP 25 METERED MARKETS (Nine-Day Average):
1. Milwaukee, 23.1/36
2. Denver, 23.0/38
3. Salt Lake City, 22.5/38
4. Seattle, 21.3/39
5. Minneapolis, 21.0/36
6. St. Louis, 19.9/31
7. Columbus, 19.7/31
8. San Diego, 19.2/32
9. Portland, 19.0/35
10. West Palm Beach, 18.9/28
11. Cleveland, 18.4/29
12. Nashville, 18.2/26
13. Kansas City, 18.0/27
14. Boston, 17.8/31
T15. Phoenix, 17.5/29
T15. Providence, 17.5/29
T17. Austin, 17.3/28
T17. Tulsa, 17.3/26
19. Washington, D.C., 17.2/28
T20. Sacramento, 17.1/31
T20. Cincinnati, 17.1/26
T20. Oklahoma City, 17.1/26
T20. Ft. Myers, 17.1/27
24. Richmond, 16.9/26
T25. Chicago, 16.7/27
T25. Indianapolis, 16.7/27

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