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Michael Phelps’ Last Swim Lifts Rio Olympics on Saturday to 24-Million Viewers

NBC Delivers More Than Four Times the Audience of the Competing Networks

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What follows are the fast affiliate results for Saturday, August 13 broken out by network and by each half-hour:

-Total Viewers:
NBC: 23.99 million, CBS: 2.18, ABC: 2.12, Fox: 1.13

-Adults 18-49:
NBC: 6.3 rating/26 share, ABC: 0.5/ 2, Fox: 0.4/ 2, CBS: 0.3/ 1


8:00 p.m.
ABC – Last Man Standing (R)
Viewers: 2.63 million (#3), A18-49: 0.6/ 3 (#2)

CBS – Rush Hour
Viewers: 1.82 million (#3), A18-49: 0.3/ 1 (#4)

NBC – Rio Olympics 2016
Viewers: 16.70 million (#1), A18-49: 4.1/19 (#1)

Fox – Hotel Hell (R)
Viewers: 1.11 million (#4), A18-49: 0.4/ 2 (#3)


8:30 p.m.

ABC – Dr. Ken (R)
Viewers: 2.06 million (#2), A18-49: 0.5/ 2 (#2)

CBS – Rush Hour
Viewers: 1.66 million (#3), A18-49: 0.2/ 1 (#4)

NBC – Rio Olympics 2016
Viewers: 20.77 million (#1), A18-49: 5.2/22 (#1)

Fox – Hotel Hell (R)
Viewers: 1.13 million (#4), A18-49: 0.4/ 2 (#3)


9:00 p.m.

ABC – 20/20: In an Instant (R)
Viewers: 1.85 million (#3), A18-49: 0.4/ 2 (#2t)

CBS – 48 Hours (R)
Viewers: 2.04 million (#2), A18-49: 0.3/ 1 (#4)

NBC – Rio Olympics 2016
Viewers: 23.37 million (#1), A18-49: 6.0/25 (#1)

Fox – Hotel Hell (R)
Viewers: 1.12 million (#4), A18-49: 0.4/ 2 (#2t)


9:30 p.m.

ABC – 20/20: In an Instant (R)
Viewers: 2.02 million (#3), A18-49: 0.5/ 2 (#2)

CBS – 48 Hours (R)
Viewers: 2.36 million (#2), A18-49: 0.4/ 1 (#3t)

NBC – Rio Olympics 2016
Viewers: 26.88 million (#1), A18-49: 7.1/28 (#1)

Fox – Hotel Hell (R)
Viewers: 1.15 million (#4), A18-49: 0.4/ 2 (#3t)


10:00 p.m.

ABC – Boston EMS
Viewers: 1.99 million (#3), A18-49: 0.4/ 2 (#2t)

CBS – 48 Hours (R)
Viewers: 2.52 million (#2), A18-49: 0.4/ 2 (#2t)

NBC – Rio Olympics 2016
Viewers: 30.89 million (#1), A18-49: 8.4/32 (#1)


10:30 p.m.

ABC – Boston EMS
Viewers: 2.15 million (#3), A18-49: 0.4/ 2 (#3)

CBS – 48 Hours (R)
Viewers: 2.68 million (#2), A18-49: 0.5/ 2 (#2)

NBC – Rio Olympics 2016
Viewers: 35.31 million (#1), A18-49: 6.9/27 (#1)

Source: Nielsen Media Research


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    NBC Olympics’ Saturday Overnight Notes

    NBC’s Sat. night Olympic coverage, featuring Michael Phelps’ last swim, posted a 16.4/30 overnight — up +21% versus the prior Saturday night (13.5)

    NBC’s Saturday coverage peaked at 20.4/36 overnight for Phelps’ final race (4x100m medley relay) from 10-10:15 p.m. ET

    NBCSN Saturday primetime coverage, featuring Brazil-Colombia men’s soccer, averaged a 0.73 overnight

    NBC Olympics coverage has topped 2 BILLION total streaming minutes via & NBC Sports app

    NBC’s Saturday primetime metered-market household rating from 8:30-11 p.m. ET (16.6) is more than 5 times the combined total of ABC, CBS and Fox (3.2)

    NBC’s Sat. primetime 8.2 rating among Adults 18-49 in the local people meters is nearly 12 times the combined rating of the other Big 4 nets (0.7)

    Third round action for Men’s Olympic golf on @GolfChannel Sat. afternoon, up +255% vs. 2012 opposite London Games (0.78, 12-3:30 p.m. ET)

    Sat. early coverage of men’s Olympic golf on @GolfChannel posts the year’s best metered-market household rating in time period (0.40, 6:30 a.m.-noon ET). +700% vs. 2012

    Top local markets for NBC Olympics Sat. night: Norfolk 18.4/31; Indy 18.1/31; Denver 18.0/40; Ft Myers 18.0/30; Columbus 17.7/31

    Locals for NBC Olympics Sat. night (#6-10): West Palm 17.7/30; Salt Lake 17.6/37; Austin 17.3/34; Wash DC 17.1/34; Greensboro 17.1/29

    • Yeah that was the first time I saw a trend like that during these games very weird shift there. I’m not sure if track & field brought it down or not but you would expect viewership to go down with it so I would like an explanation for that weird trend there.

  2. Wow very heavy viewed second Saturday for these games as it looks like swimming’s last night in these games and maybe Michael Phelps last action the Olympic pool of his career got a huge turnout. The 10pm hour alone topped some of the higher-hut level nights from earlier in the week so very sick ratings for Saturday TV towards the end of the summer here. I honestly didn’t expect this kind of turnout regardless of the situation since the second Saturday of the games are usually much lower than this and if I’m not mistaken this is probably the first night to top London in multiple ratings categories. I think the last time the Saturday edition of the games had anywhere near this kind of turnout was when Phelps first broke the medal record in 2008 I remember it getting like close to 40 million viewers that year and that was also swimming’s last night that year.

    Looks like regardless of what Phelps does the strong draw that swimming has become in this country thanks to Phelps will be in good shape for the Tokyo games in 2020. I think new stars in the pool like Simone Manuel and Penny Oleksiak of Canada can keep the ratings high but if you ask me today I think Phelps may comeback because I went into watching his race like it wasn’t even going to be his last. A lot can change in 4 years so we’ll see what happens. There’s a slight chance too that Phelps may continue until he’s 39 pending if the 2024 Olympics are in Los Angeles that year, I think Phelps would like to regardless of where he finishes to maybe swim on American soil so it will be interesting for sure.

    Another big night coming up tonight without swimming in the picture as Simone Biles and the Final Five gymnastics girls are back in action the next three nights that will keep the ratings around 30 million viewers. Usain Bolt races tonight as well in live action.

  3. Also nice numbers for LMS and Dr. Ken although there were NFL pre-emptions. LMS repeats really in syndication right I’ve been seeing its numbers on Hallmark channel and it’s their highest rated program every weekday. LMS is being repeated on WGN in Chicago replacing their CW lineup this fall. Very interested to see how it rates there as I know Tribune has talked in the past about being frustrated with so many single-cams in production that don’t rate well for them in repeats so LMS is a perfect fit for them as they still repeat shows like Two and a Half Men, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Friends.

    I know ABC will never do it but I would like to see them try and see what original Saturday comedies could do on the night as family comedies in my opinion as proven on Fridays for them can work on any night.

    • I watched the first season of LMS but didn’t return for the next year. Not sure why.
      I am hopeful that a couple of the non single cam comedies will do well this fall. Aren’t the Kevin Jame and the Matt LeBlanc series both regular sitcoms?

      • It’s become a solid show since season 2 started but I liked the oldest daughter that they had in season 1 before she was replaced the following season. You should check it out when you get the chance over the coming year while its in syndication. Very solid comedy, I missed all of last season though so I will catch those in repeats.

        Yeah CBS has three promising multi-cams coming headlined by Kevin James, Matt LeBlanc, and Joel McHale. I do think at least one of these three will do well for them and right now Kevin James’ comedy has the perfect slot so I expect that to be the one that breaks out for them. Matt and Joel’s comedies will have a tougher road but one of them could make it through. I’m sure local networks like Tribune and cable networks that rerun comedies are praying that these comedies make it through.

    • Disagree with you on ABC “proving” anything with its low-rated Friday comedies, but 100% with you on programming Saturdays.

      It’s yet another potential ratings goldmine left abandoned by the studios/networks.

        • I guess my point is that in the face of a less-than-stellar performance for an ultra-expensive piece of programming, NBC is trying to sell us that it’s their best ever, even though it’s obviously not.

          Are the other networks also down 15% from 4 years ago for the same period? I frankly didn’t notice, but those numbers were always so low, it wouldn’t take a big dip to be 15% down…

            • That’s interesting. 🙂

              Not checking in detail, I’d have thought they were doing the same numbers as they usually did in the Summer.

              I may be getting used to the lower numbers and thinking they’re “normal” too… 😉

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