Olympics Give NBC Big Q3 Ratings Boost
10 of 11 top cable networks see viewership decline
By Jon Lafayette -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/26/2012 1:42:29 PM
NBC's ratings were up 79% in primetime among adults 18 to 49, according to preliminary Nielsen figures compiled by Turner Broadcasting. Taking out the Olympics, NBC's ratings were still up 5% from the prior year, providing a potent promotional platform heading into the new TV season.
NBC's gains were big enough to put the Big 4 broadcasters in positive territory, despite drops at the other networks. ABC was down 29%, CBS was down 24% and Fox was down 11%.
Total TV viewing was up from the last summer Olympic year at 33.3 hours per week, compared to 32.5 hours in 2008, according to Turner. But live viewing was down to 30.8 hours vs. 31 hours in 2008. Last year, total viewing was 33 hours, with 30.6 taking place live.
The summer is usual a time for cable to shine, but because of the Olympics, 10 of the top 11 cable networks were down from a year ago. USA was number one, but down 16% from a year ago. The only gainer, TBS, was No. 2, up 36% from a year ago, thanks largely to high ratings from The Big Bang Theory.
Overall ratings for ad-supported cable networks were down 5% in the quarter among adults 18 to 49.
It was a particularly tough quarter for several of Viacom's networks. Nickelodeon was down 25% among kids 2 to 11 and 23% among kids 6 to 11. In primetime among adults 18 to 34, MTV was down 46%. Among adults 18-49, Comedy Central was down 22%, CMT was down 4% Nick at Nite was down 47% BET was down 2%. Resurgent VH1 was up 18%.
I thought the London 2012 Olympics were very good. I do agree with some of the criticisms, such as the botched production on NBC's part, and NBC not being very forthcoming in promising more live coverage. Hope that NBC can do a better job with the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Olympics.
I look forward to Rio, and hope that we'll likely be seeing Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte, Allyson Felix, Usain Bolt, Dara Torres, and Ian Thorpe, along with other returnees and newcomers. Hoping that either Madrid or Tokyo gets the 2020 Olympics... and would love to see New York City get the 2024 Olympics.
Eric - 9/27/2012 3:47:37 AM EDT
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