More than 30 million watch, beating the combined competition

Coming off a monster Tuesday night, NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics saw an expected dropoff Wednesday, but it still delivered more than 30 million viewers to crush everything in its path and again out-rate the comparable night from four years ago.

Nielsen estimates that the London Games averaged a 9.7 rating/28 share in adults 18-49 and 30.6 million viewers overall from 8 to 11 p.m., with the telecast’s final numbers expected to vary some due to any atypical start or start times. Tuesday’s coverage, which included Michael Phelps’ record-setting performance and a gold medal for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, drew about 38 million viewers.

Wednesday’s action, which highlighted by swimming, beach volleyball and men’s diving and gymnastics, finished about 5% ahead of the same night from the 2008 Beijing Games.

As usual, the Olympics beat the combined deliveries of the other broadcast nets in categories ranging from persons 12-34 (7.1/25) to adults 25-54 (11.4/29). The Games also continue to do very well among adults 50 and older (15.3/29).

Univision, whose novelas remain in firstrun opposite the Olympics, again ranked second among young adults. Its 10 p.m. show ”La Que No Podia Amar” had its best showing yet opposite the Games (1.8/5 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall).

CBS claimed the night’s top-rated entertainment program with ”Big Brother” (1.9/6 in 18-49, 5.3 million viewers overall), which was down just a tick from last week despite the presence of the Olympics. It was followed by repeats of ”Criminal Minds” (1.1/3 in 18-49, 4.5 million viewers overall) and ”CSI” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 4.0 million viewers overall).

ABC aired encores of ”The Middle” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.2 million viewers overall), ”Suburgatory” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.5 million viewers overall) and ”Modern Family” (0.9/3 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall at 9 p.m. and 1.0/3 in 18-49, 2.9 million viewers overall at 9:30), followed by an original episode of ”Final Witness” (0.8/2 in 18-49, 2.6 million viewers overall).

And Fox aired a two-hour encore of ”So You Think You Can Dance” (0.7/2 in 18-49, 2.1 million viewers overall).

Preliminary 18-49 averages for the night: NBC, 9.7/28; Univision, 1.4/5; CBS, 1.3/4; ABC, 0.8/2; Fox, 0.7/2; CW, 0.3/1.

In total viewers: NBC, 30.6 million; CBS, 4.6 million; Univision, 3.6 million; ABC, 2.8 million; Fox, 2.1 million; CW, 0.9 million.

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