NBC gave affiliates four extra minutes of local ad time to sell during the
last two nights of the Olympic Games (Feb. 23 and 24).
That was to make up for all the front-loading of local ads the network did
during the Games to boost ratings.
From Nielsen Media Research's standpoint, the night begins at the start of the
first national commercial.
But Olympic viewership is usually lower during that first half-hour.
So throughout the games, NBC shifted national spots out of, and local time
into, the first half-hour to push the Nielsen start into higher ratings
For the vast majority of affiliates, the spots were icing on the cake. While
the spot-shifting presented some logistical headaches, most stations came out
'NBC did a terrific
job on the games,' said Alan Frank, president of Post-Newsweek Stations, who
is not known for giving easy compliments to his network
The production was great and the ratings were spectacular.'
After 13 nights of Olympic coverage, NBC averaged an
18.6/30, up 13 percent over CBS' 13-night average for the last Winter Olympics
from Nagano, Japan.