TV Ratings: Olympics coverage skates past 'American Idol' on Wednesday
'Idol' is down week-to-week and NBC is down day-to-day
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[Ratings were delayed this morning, forcing you to wait four full hours to learn what you could have already guessed. Sorry.]
For the second straight day, NBC's primetime Winter Olympics coverage was built around the quest for a gold medal three-peat that fell short. But just as audiences tuned in to NBC to see Shaun White's disappointment, speedskater Shani Davis' loss (and other coverage from Sochi) still drew big numbers.
As we move deeper into the Olympics, the other networks are offering less and less competition -- "American Idol" was the only other original and took a week-to-week dip -- which made it even easy for NBC to coast, even if Wednesday's Olympics ratings were on the low side.
On to the numbers...
Among adults 18-49, NBC averaged a 5.6 rating for Wednesday night, far ahead of the 3.4 rating for FOX in the key demographic. ABC's 1.2 key demo rating was a distant third, followed by CBS' 0.9 key demo rating and the 0.3 key demo rating for The CW.
Overall, NBC averaged an estimated 20.77 million viewers and a 12.1 rating/19 share, easily beating the 6.7/10 and 11.425 million viewers for FOX. CBS was well back in third with 5.005 million viewers and a 3.1/5, with ABC's 3.6 million viewers and 2.4/4 taking fourth. The CW averaged 924,000 viewers and a 0.6/1 for the night.
8 p.m. - NBC's Sochi coverage averaged 18.66 million viewers and a 4.7 rating among adults 18-49 for the 8 p.m. hour, topping the 11.08 million viewers and 3.3 key demo rating for FOX's "American Idol." ABC's repeats of "The Middle" and "Suburgatory" averaged 4.32 million viewers and a 1.3 key demo rating, topping the 4.31 million viewers and 0.8 key demo rating for CBS' "Mike & Molly" repeat and an encore of "The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles." The CW's airing of "Best in Show" averaged 929,000 viewers and a 0.3 key demo rating.
9 p.m. - The second hour of NBC's Winter Olympics coverage improved to 21.76 million viewers and a 6.0 rating among adults 18-49 in the 9 p.m. frame. FOX's "American Idol" also rose slightly with 11.775 million viewers and a 3.5 key demo rating. CBS' "The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles" encore averaged 5.12 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating, compared to ABC's "Modern Family" repeat (4.8 million and a 1.6 key demo) and a new "Super Fun Night" (3.5 million and a 1.3 key demo). The CW's movie averaged 919,000 viewers and a 0.3 key demo rating.
10 p.m. - The Winter Olympics telecast completed its primetime sweep with 21.89 million viewers and a 6.0 rating among adults 18-49 for NBC in the 10 p.m. hour. CBS' "The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles" encore averaged 5.58 million viewers and a 1.0 key demo rating for second, beating the 2.32 million viewers and 0.7 key demo rating for ABC's "Nashville" repeat.
All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.