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TV Ratings: Ledecky, Phelps, Biles Slow NBC’s Olympics Bleeding

Katie Ledecky NBC Olympics Ratings
James Crombie/INPHO/REX/Shutterstock

NBC’s primetime ratings for the 2016 Summer Olympics continue to show declines from the 2012 London games, but the drop-off Sunday night was far less severe.

Boosted by high-profile events featuring American swimmers Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps and gymnast Simone Biles, NBC drew 29.7 million total viewers Sunday night in Nielsen overnight numbers. That number represents an increase of nine million viewers from Saturday night’s disappointing audience, but also a decline of 17% from the second night of competition at the London games four years ago.

The drop is far less than Saturday’s night’s 28% decline for the first night of competition and Friday’s 33% decline for the opening ceremonies — which were the lowest rated for a Summer Olympics since 1992.

In the 18-49 demo, NBC averaged a 9.0 rating in primetime, down 21% from 2012. The network will update with final Nielsen numbers and multiplatform viewing data later Monday.

On CBS, “60 Minutes” drew a 0.6 demo rating, followed by “Big Brother” at 1.5, a rerun of “Madam Secretary,” then a new episode of “BrainDead” at 0.3. The network averaged a 0.7 rating and 3 share. ABC and Fox aired reruns, averaging a 0.6/2 share and 0.4/2 share, respectively.