TV Ratings: Olympics Viewership Sags Day
Courtesy NBC

NBC saw a big viewership drop on Friday for its coverage of the 14th day of competition at the Rio summer Olympics.

A lack of marquee events made for a modest turnout for NBC’s primetime slate featuring gold medal finals in diving and sprint relays. NBC averaged a 13.6 household rating and 24 share in Nielsen’s 56 overnight metered markets, which cover about 70% of U.S. TV households. That was off by more than a rating point from Thursday’s primetime performance and down nearly two points from the games’ average in primetime.

Digital viewing of the games continues to grow by leaps and bounds, per NBC Sports. As of Friday, the site and NBC Sports app had served up 2.5 billion live streaming minutes, which amounts to 1 billion minutes more than all prior Olympics combined since the advent of streaming.

Meanwhile, NBC was able to channel Friday’s Olympics lead-in to generate solid linear sampling for a new episode of comedy “Superstore” that began at 10:34 p.m. ET. The workplace comedy starring America Ferrera and Ben Feldman averaged 9.7 million viewers and a 3.0 rating in adults 18-49. That’s a bigger crowd (by 88% in adults 18-49 and 76% in viewers) and than the show saw in its midseason run earlier this year. “Superstore” returns for its sophomore year on Sept. 22.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s closing ceremony, NBC has set its broadcast team for the final hurrah in Rio. Mike Tirico, Mary Carillo and Ryan Seacrest will anchor from Maracana Stadium starting at 8 p.m. ET. Bob Costas and Al Michaels will host the “Rio Gold” games retrospective telecast at 7 p.m.

The U.S. Olympic contingent has selected gymnast Simone Biles to serve as the team’s flag bearer during the ceremony’s parade of athletes and flags of participating nations. Biles was one of the biggest U.S. stars to emerge from the games. She leaves Brazil with four gold medals and one bronze.

NBC’s top local markets for Friday’s coverage: Denver (18.5/35); Atlanta (15.2/25); Columbus (15.2/26); Washington, D.C. (15.0/28); and Richmond,Va. (15.0/24).

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