NBC Averages 21.4 Million Viewers for Sochi Olympics, Down From Vancouver

NBC and Nielsen were expected to release more detailed ratings information on Tuesday, but preliminary estimates show the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics averaging a strong 21.4 million viewers in primetime.

While down 12% from the 24.4 million who watched on average during the more time zone-friendly Vancouver Games of 2010, it’s up 6% from the 20.2 million average for the last European Winter Games in Torino in 2006.

The Closing Ceremony from Sochi on Sunday averaged about 15.1 million viewers, well below the 21.4 million who watched the final night from Vancouver (following that afternoon’s Team USA-Canada men’s gold medal game). It was up slightly from the 2006 Torino closer (14.8 million).

From a competitive standpoint, the Olympics have never been more dominant. For the first complete week of the Games (Feb. 10-16), NBC logged its most lopsided primetime victory in network history.

And the Olympics have helped NBC in other dayparts, including news. “Today” beat “Good Morning America” both complete weeks during the Games, while the Brian Williams-hosted “NBC Nightly News” had its most-watched week in eight years.

NBC paid $4.4 billion in 2011 for every Olympics through the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games. The Peacock and its networks aired a record 1,539 hours over its 18 days from Sochi, Russia, including 230 on NBC Sports Network, 185 on the broadcaster and 45 on MSNBC.

Facebook released data on Monday for the Games, during which roughly 45 million people chatted about the Winter Olympics on the social media website — for a total of about 120 million combined posts, comments and “likes.”

Across the globe, the athletes mentioned the most on Facebook were Shaun White, T.J. Oshie, Yuna Kim, Jenny Jones and Carey Price, and the most popular sports were ice hockey, figure skating and bobsledding. The demo groups most buzzing about the Sochi Games on Facebook were men 18-34, women 18-34 and women 35-49.

More TV

  • Five Takes on Canal Plus, Federation’s

    Just Days Left to Catch Canal Plus’ ‘The Bureau’ on MyFFF

    The most lauded of titles on this year’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, UniFrance’s online showcase featured by over 50 OTT services around the world, may not be a film but a drama series. With four seasons aired, and a milestone in world sales on a French TV show, slow-boiling espionage series ‘Le Bureau des légendes’ (“The Bureau”) is [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA

    TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA West President, Dies at 91

    Prolific Emmy-nominated television writer Christopher Edwin Knopf, former president of the Writers Guild of America West, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure on Feb. 13. He was 91. Knopf was born in New York and attended UCLA, leaving during his senior year to join the Air Force during World War II. He finished [...]

  • Jussie Smollett The Black AIDS Insitute

    Jussie Smollett Case: Two Suspects Released Without Charges as New Evidence Emerges

    After two days of questioning, the Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening that it has released two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that detectives had developed new information in the case. Police no longer consider the men to be suspects. “Due to new evidence as a [...]

  • GOTHAM: L-R: Guest star Cameron Monaghan

    TV News Roundup: Fox Drops 'Gotham' Final Season Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Fox released a new trailer for an upcoming episode of “Gotham” and Disney has announced the cast for its upcoming “High School Musical” series.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime released a new trailer and the official poster for the upcoming fourth season of “Billions,” premiering March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In [...]

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Apollo Global Management Buys Majority Stake in Cox TV Stations

    Private equity giant Apollo Global Management has cut a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises to buy a majority stake in Cox’s 13 TV stations as well as three newspapers and a handful of radio stations in Ohio. Apollo has been in the hunt for broadcast TV stations for some time. Cox’s station group, which includes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content