10 February 2014
WASHINGTON, February 10 (RIA Novosti) – US television network NBC drew an average of 25.1 million viewers for its primetime telecast of the first day of the Sochi Winter Olympics, down slightly from the same period for the 2010 Vancouver Games but up 8 percent from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.
The network also notched the highest Saturday primetime ratings of any broadcast network since the second Saturday of the Vancouver Games on
February 20, 2010, when NBC’s coverage attracted an audience of 26.6 million, NBC said in a statement, citing national data released by The Nielsen Company.
The opening Saturday of the Vancouver Winter Olympics drew 26.2 million, or 4 percent higher than NBC’s coverage of the Sochi Games on Saturday.
NBC saw a jump in ratings for its sports affiliate, NBCSN, which garnered 2.6 million viewers for daytime coverage of the Sochi Olympics, nearly doubling the number of viewers who tuned in on the first Saturday of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the network said.
NBCSN also set a ratings record for a single event on Saturday, with 4.9 million viewers watching the inaugural team figure skating competition, eclipsing the 4.4 million viewers who tuned in for the women’s soccer gold medal match that saw the US team defeat Japan for the gold medal.
NBC’s coverage of the bombastic opening ceremony for the Sochi Games garnered 31.7 million viewers, the second most-watched tape-delayed Winter Olympics opening bash since the 1996 Winter Games in Lillehammer, Norway, which drew 33.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen Company data cited by NBC.
That figure dipped slightly below the 32.7 million US viewers who watched the live ceremony broadcast by NBC for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.