The Super Bowl arrived in February again for CBS, which recorded huge numbers Friday with the final installment of Nancy Kerrigan’s quest for the gold medal.
Primetime coverage averaged a 44.4 rating, 62 share in the 30 Nielsen metered markets.
That rating is down a marginal 11% from CBS’ record-breaking performance with the first round of women’s skating on Wednesday, which ranks as the sixth-highest rated broadcast since such records have been kept.
The Friday numbers are nevertheless within hailing distance of this year’s Super Bowl telecast (45.5/66) and figure to surpass all other broadcasts during the current season. The Super Bowl is traditionally TV’s highest-rated annual event, followed by the Academy Awards, which usually draws around a 30 rating.
CBS coverage peaked Friday at a 72 share of the available audience from 10-10 :30 p.m., when Kerrigan was skating, compared to an 8 share each for the other two networks. ABC was second for the night with an 11 share.
Boosted by the huge primetime results, preliminary national ratings for last week show “Late Show With David Letterman” achieving a record 8.9 rating, including an 11.1 rating Friday.
Results faded somewhat Saturday, the last evening of Olympic competition, but remained bloated compared to 1992 levels. CBS averaged a 24.4/39 in primetime, up 44% compared to the national rating for the corresponding night two years ago.