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TV Ratings: Winter Olympics Hit Back-to-Back Lows in Final Days

The closing days of the 2018 Winter Olympics saw steep declines in the Nielsen ratings.

Friday night’s primetime coverage of the Games from Pyeongchang, South Korea, drew a combined 9.2 rating in metered market households on NBC and NBC Sports Network. That is down approximately 28 percent from the previous night’s coverage. That is also down approximately 12 percent from the previous low of a 10.4 rating on Feb. 17. Total audience delivery data for Friday night is not yet available, but Friday’s coverage on NBC is currently averaging a 2.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 12.1 million viewers. That does not include West Coast viewers or those who watched on cable and streaming.  Feb. 17’s coverage initially had 13.6 million viewers on NBC, eventually rising to 16.1 million when factoring in cable and streaming.

This Saturday night’s primetime coverage of the Games sank even lower, falling approximately 5 percent to an 8.7 household rating. It is also averaging a 1.9 and 9.4 million viewers on NBC. In fairness, past Olympics have seen similar declines over the final days of competition.

The closing ceremony of the 2018 Olympics is set to air tonight on NBC at 8 p.m. Barring a sudden surge in viewership for that ceremony, this year’s Olympics are currently averaging 20.6 million viewers across all platforms. That is down approximately 8 percent from the 2014 Sochi Olympics,which did not air on NBC Sports Network and had no simultaneous streaming.

NBC will release the final viewership tallies for the Pyeongchang Olympics on Monday.

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