No Phelps, no problem for NBC on Sunday night, as the Summer Olympics again put up some impressive numbers in primetime — more than doubling the primetime demo deliveries of ABC, CBS and Fox.
According to preliminary nationals from Nielsen, NBC’s 7:30-11 p.m. coverage of the Beijing Games averaged roughly an 8.8 rating/25 share in adults 18-49 and 26.2 million viewers overall. Though down from its ratings for the previous Sunday (11.2/31 in 18-49, 32.3 million viewers overall), Sunday’s results are expected to be up a bit vs. the same night in Athens four years ago.
Sunday was the first night of these Olympics in which Michael Phelps wasn’t a focal point of NBC’s primetime coverage. Viewership for the U.S. swimmer’s record-setting eighth gold medal on Saturday night peaked at a whopping 40 million viewers — a high point for the Beijing games.
The strongest counter to the Olympics on Sunday was CBS reality series “Big Brother” (2.3/7 in 18-49, 6.4 million viewers overall), which was up vs. the previous week.
Fox did OK with repeats of “The Simpsons” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall) and “Family Guy” (1.7/5 in 18-49, 3.6 million viewers overall), and ABC was led by a repeat two-hour edition of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (1.5/4 in 18-49, 4.7 million viewers overall).
Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC (7:30-11 p.m.), 8.8/25; CBS, 1.5/4; ABC, 1.3/4; Fox, 1.2/3; CW, 0.3/1.
In total viewers: NBC, 26.2 million; CBS, 5.5 million; ABC, 4.1 million; Fox, 2.7 million; CW, 0.7 million.