LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The aerial wizardry of snowboarders Shaun White and Chloe Kim lifted the Winter Olympics and NBC to a weekly ratings victory.
Veteran White’s gold-medal comeback in the halfpipe gave NBC the most-watched night in prime-time last week, according to Nielsen ratings released Wednesday.
Kim’s unprecedented combination of spins for a woman in competition captured gold for her and delivered almost as many viewers as tuned in the night of White’s performance.
Altogether, Olympic broadcasts from Pyeongchang, South Korea, claimed seven of the week’s top 10 slots. In 8th place was CBS’ “60 Minutes” featuring Oprah Winfrey’s second round-table with Michigan voters, including supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump.
Winfrey has downplayed suggestions that she consider a 2020 presidential run, telling “60 Minutes” in an online interview ahead of the broadcast that it’s “not in my DNA.”
For the week of Feb. 12-18, NBC averaged 17.62 million viewers. That bested the combined viewership of the three other major broadcast networks by the largest margin for any regular season, non-Super Bowl week since electronic “people meters” came into use, the network said.
CBS was second with 4.48 million viewers, followed by Fox with 1.65 million, Univision with 1.43 million, ION Television with 1.3 million, Telemundo with 1.18 million and the CW with 930,000.
Fox News Channel was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.23 million viewers in prime time. TNT had 2.4 million, MSNBC had 1.72 million, USA had 1.44 million and HGTV had 1.23 million.
Among network newscasts, numbers don’t tell the full story. Because of the Olympics, NBC’s “Nightly News” was shifted hours earlier in a quarter of the country and affecting a head-to-head comparison.
ABC’s “World News Tonight,” airing in its regular spot for five nights, drew 9.14 million viewers. Three of NBC’s newscasts averaged 8.77 million viewers, with two others drawing 8.1 million. CBS’ “Evening News” averaged 6.76 million.
For the week of Feb. 12-18, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: Winter Olympics (Tuesday), NBC, 20.5 million; Winter Olympics (Monday), NBC, 20.3 million; Winter Olympics (Wednesday), NBC, 17.1 million; Winter Olympics (Friday), NBC, 16.6 million; Winter Olympics (Sunday), NBC, 16.4 million; Winter Olympics (Thursday), NBC, 16.2 million; Winter Olympics (Saturday), NBC, 14.5 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 7.5 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 7.4 million; “Young Sheldon,” CBS, 7.1 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.