Olympics Help Lift NBC’s ‘Today’ to Rare Ratings Gold

Olympics Help Lift NBC's 'Today' Rare

But it's down vs. 2010 while ABC's 'GMA' has surged

UPDATE: In updated national estimates from Nielsen, “Today’s” advantage was trimmed over “Good Morning America” to 3% in total viewers (6.134 million vs. 5.969 million) and 7% in adults 25-54 (2.506 million vs. 2.344 million). Perhaps most impressively for the ABC program, which is the season-to-date leader in the morning daypart, is that it retained 99% of its 25-54 and overall numbers from the prior week.

Compared to the first full week of the Vancouver Games in 2010, “GMA” rose 27% in adults 25-54 and 33% in total viewers, while “Today” was down 12% and 4%, respectively.


NBC’s ratings strength during the Olympics extends across all dayparts, including morning news, where “Today” scored a rare victory over ABC’s “Good Morning America” during the first full week of action.

“GMA” has consistently been the top draw in the morning since the summer of 2012, but “Today” was able to feed off the network’s blanket coverage of the Winter Olympics to break through — even if its advantages over the ABC program were trimmed considerably vs. four years ago. And while “Today” was down a bit from 2010, “GMA” shot up by more than 25%.

Nielsen estimates that “Today” averaged 6.22 million viewers for the week of Feb. 10-14 — a larger tune-in than it saw during the Summer Olympics of 2012 and the most-watched frame for the program since the week of the British royal wedding in April 2011. It finished 4% (about 211,000 viewers) ahead of “Good Morning America” (6.01 million) for its largest margin of victory since the London Games of 18 months ago.

In adults 25-54, “Today” won with a little more cushion, beating “Good Morning America” by 8% (2.54 million vs. 2.36 million) and logging its best week in the demo since May 2011.

It’s worth noting, though, that the margin of victory for “Today” over “GMA” was much larger four years ago from Vancouver, where the NBC program led by 1.88 million total viewers (by 42%, 6.37 million vs. 4.49 million) and by about 1 million adults 25-54 (by 55%, 2.86 million vs. 1.85 million) for the comparable week.

Compared to the opening full week from Vancouver in 2010, “Today” was down 2% in overall viewership and 11% lower in adults 25-54. “GMA” grew by 34% in total viewers and by 28% in the demo.

And in another positive for “Good Morning America,” its Feb. 10-14 audience was about the same as the previous week, indicating that the additional viewers for “Today” last week didn’t necessarily come at the expense of the ABC show.

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  1. Michael Anthony says:

    Today will sink once Olympics are over. Frankly, their coverage displays little real journalism. Of course, they trot out the medal winner who persevered they adversity. But where’s the hard news about Pussy Riot being arrested on Sochi? The beatings of gays and Putin handing out awards to anti-gay Russians this week? The genocide of dogs? And of course his hands all over the Ukraine this week! But don’t let that stop Today from celebrating all things Sochi!

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