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Below Average 14.5 Million Viewers for the Final Night of Competition on the 2016 Rio Olympics

Overall Performance for These Summer Olympics Falls Short of Expectations

What follows are the fast affiliate results for Saturday, August 20 broken out by network and by each half-hour:

-Total Viewers:
NBC: 14.55 million, CBS: 2.75, ABC: 2.42, Fox: 1.59

-Adults 18-49:
NBC: 3.5 rating/15 share, ANC, CBS and Fox: 0.5/ 2 each


8:00 p.m.
ABC – Last Man Standing (R)
Viewers: 2.56 million (#3), A18-49: 0.5/ 2 (#2t)

CBS – Rush Hour
Viewers: 2.58 million (#2), A18-49: 0.5/ 2 (#2t)

NBC – Rio Olympics 2016
Viewers: 11.75 million (#1), A18-49: 2.6/12 (#1)

Fox – Hotel Hell (R)
Viewers: 1.46 million (#4), A18-49: 0.4/ 2 (#4)


8:30 p.m.

ABC – Dr. Ken (R)
Viewers: 2.20 million (#3), A18-49: 0.5/ 2 (#2)

CBS – Rush Hour
Viewers: 2.47 million (#2), A18-49: 0.4/ 2 (#3t)

NBC – Rio Olympics 2016
Viewers: 14.17 million (#1), A18-49: 3.2/14 (#1)

Fox – Hotel Hell (R)
Viewers: 1.50 million (#4), A18-49: 0.4/ 2 (#3t)


9:00 p.m.

ABC – 20/20: In An Instant (R)
Viewers: 2.27 million (#3), A18-49: 0.5/ 2 (#2t)

CBS – 48 Hours (R)
Viewers: 2.42 million (#2), A18-49: 0.4/ 2 (#4)

NBC – Rio Olympics 2016
Viewers: 15.82 million (#1), A18-49: 3.8/16 (#1)

Fox – Hotel Hell (R)
Viewers: 1.62 million (#4), A18-49: 0.5/ 2 (#2t)


9:30 p.m.

ABC – 20/20: In An Instant (R)
Viewers: 2.51 million (#3), A18-49: 0.5/ 2 (#2t)

CBS – 48 Hours (R)
Viewers: 2.58 million (#2), A18-49: 0.4/ 2 (#4)

NBC – Rio Olympics 2016
Viewers: 16.55 million (#1), A18-49: 4.1/16 (#1)

Fox – Hotel Hell (R)
Viewers: 1.78 million (#4), A18-49: 0.5/ 2 (#2t)


10:00 p.m.

ABC – Boston EMS
Viewers: 2.51 million (#3), A18-49: 0.6/ 2 (#2)

CBS – 48 Hours (R)
Viewers: 3.12 million (#2), A18-49: 0.5/ 3 (#3)

NBC – Rio Olympics 2016
Viewers: 15.49 million (#1), A18-49: 3.9/16 (#1)


10:30 p.m.

ABC – Boston EMS
Viewers: 2.47 million (#3), A18-49: 0.6/ 2 (#2t)

CBS – 48 Hours (R)
Viewers: 3.35 million (#2), A18-49: 0.6/ 2 (#2t)

NBC – Rio Olympics 2016
Viewers: 13.50 million (#1), A18-49: 3.5/14 (#1)

Source: Nielsen Media Research


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  1. NBC Olympics’ Saturday Overnight Notes

    NBC’s Sat. night Olympic coverage (9-11p), featuring track & field and diving, was #1 in primetime with 10.6/20 overnight

    NBC’s total Sat. primetime overnight is 11.1, after adding the .5 overnight for USA Network’s live primetime Olympics coverage

    Brazil’s historic gold-medal win over Germany in men’s soccer posted 1.78 overnight on NBCSN – best for Rio 2016 men’s soccer

    Men’s soccer gold-medal final on NBCSN peaked at 2.73 overnight for game’s conclusion (on PKs) from 7-7:15pm ET

    Top local markets for NBC Olympics Sat. night: Columbus 13.7/25; Salt Lake 13.0/28; Ft. Myers 12.5/22; West Palm 12.1/21; Austin 11.6/22

    Locals for NBC Olympics Sat. (#6-10): Wash DC 11.3/24; Indy 11.3/20; Portland 10.9/24; Minny 10.8/24; SF 10.7/23; Nashville 10.7/17

  2. I thought the ratings might drop but then they had the exclusive interview with Ryan Lochte so I thought that that might generate some interest. Doesn’t look like it.

    • Ratings drop was definitely expected as this is typically if you go in history the lowest rated night of the games both summer and winter so no surprise here. As far as Ryan Lochte goes I think it airing on a Saturday probably made it not a huge factor. I think it would’ve generated a lot more interest earlier in the week.

      I wonder if Ryan Lochte will return in 2020, I can’t imagine how the press would be that year with him it’s like Nancy Kerrigan and Tanya Harding esque.

    • I’d say the public interested in that fiasco is not the public who wanted to tune in for sports. I know tuning in to try and catch some track and field and getting a 15 minute expose by Bob Costas turned me off the rest of the games.

      • You may be referring to his piece with Usain Bolt which was just okay, but overall, I’d beg to differ on Costas. He’s actually not on-screen for that long during the Games but when he is, he gives intriguing insight. During a preview of one of the track and field races, within a 30-sec span, he profiled one of the foreign runners, the penalty suffered by that runner’s coach due to PEDs, and the ambivalence of the mere inclusion of that runner in that very race.

        Costas is still at the top of his game in the studio.

        • Just my luck, I happened to catch his really lengthy intervention…

          Thanks for the contrasting viewpoint. 🙂

  3. No surprise here the final Saturday is always the lowest typically of the games because of the huge fatigue factor and big events being over and done with or being played during daytime hours. Even with that said still spectacular ratings for a Saturday night these days and it will still beat out most of your programming during the regular season in both categories on a weeknight.

    For me personally fatigue has settled in for me as I’m glad the Olympics are finally over but I will still miss them since the next ones won’t be on the air for another 4 years and another 18 months for the winter games in Korea. The Olympics are great event TV as it’s one of the few things on TV these days where it creates water cooler talk and everybody’s watching it at the same time it’s basically like old school TV so I’ll definitely miss it after tonight. I’ve really enjoyed these games too more than the past ones a lot of drama and emotion involved.

    I expect some huge numbers tonight maybe in the ballpark of 20-25 million viewers and The Voice will do way better than Superstore which flopped on Friday night in the retention area.

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