Taking the Olympics' early ratings temperature, the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing thus far seem to be hurting some talk shows that don't air on NBC-owned stations or affiliates.
But the Olympics seem to be creating a modest halo effect for talk shows that do air on many NBC outlets.
After two weekdays of Olympic coverage—Monday, Aug. 11 and Tuesday, Aug. 12—NBC Universal's Martha Stewart, which airs in morning slots on the NBC owned-and-operated stations, is up 33% to a 1.2 weighted metered market overnight ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research, from a 0.9 in the pre-Olympic week ending Aug. 4. In Los Angeles, Martha's ratings doubled, going from a 0.6 rating/2 share to a 1.2/3 average over the Olympics' first two days.
In New York, the show tripled its performance, going from a 0.5/2 to a 1.8/6. Warner Bros.' Ellen DeGeneres also gained a bit on the week, increasing 12% to a 1.9/5 from a 1.7/5 in the first two days of the Games.
Both Ellen and Martha are likely profiting from stronger lead-ins due to the Olympics as well as increased eyeballs watching local-station promotions for the shows.
Two other talkers were up in the Games' first two days: Twentieth's The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet, which gained 9% to a 1.2/4 from a 1.1/4, and Warner Bros.' Tyra Banks, jumping 13% to a 0.9/2 from a 0.8/2.But the Olympics didn't greatly affect CBS'Oprah, which airs on ABC stations in the biggest markets. Oprah declined 3%, dropping to a 2.9/7 overnight weighted metered market average on Monday and Tuesday from a 3.0/8 the week before.
Disney-ABC's Live With Regis and Kelly, which was live all week, dipped 11% from a 2.8/9 to a 2.5/8. And CBS' Dr. Phil dropped 8%, going from a 2.4/6 to a 2.2/5, while CBS' Rachael Ray held steady at a 1.9/6.
NBC Universal's Maury was down 7% from a 1.5/5 to a 1.4/4, while NBC Universal's Jerry Springer was unchanged at 1.0/3. NBC Universal's Steve Wilkos was down 10% from a 1.0/3 to a 0.9/3. All three shows primarily run in the afternoon on the Tribune stations in the larger metered markets. CBS' Montel Williams was flat at a 0.9/3.
The daytime talker with the biggest decline was not a syndicated show at all: ABC's The View dropped 15% from a 2.7/9 to a 2.3/7 against Olympics coverage.
When national household ratings are published later this month, many shows are likely to be impacted due to widespread preemptions.
Overall, NBC saw massive improvement across many dayparts. NBC Universal's Access Hollywood, airing from the Great Wall, improved its ratings by 59%, climbing to a 2.7/6 weighted metered market average.
The first two hours of The Today Show improved 36%, increasing to a 5.7/19. The third hour jumped 68% to a 4.7/15 from a 2.8/9.
And NBC's Olympics coverage from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. improved by a whopping 224%. Even the Games' less popular sports gave the network a 5.5/17, up from the usual 1.7/5.