2010 Winter Olympics – Memphis & U.S. Viewership

2010 Vancouver XXI Olympic Winter Games logo

The 2010 XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver opened on 2.12.10 and closed on 2.28.10.  With the success of the United States and Canadian athletes at the games, the national viewership reached 190 million viewers making the 2010 Winter Olympic broadcast the 2nd most watched behind the 204 million that watched the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.  You can read about the viewership in this Media Life report.  The chart below shows the total U.S. viewership for the last 6 Winter Olympic games.

Winter Olympic U.S.
Viewership Comparison
  U.S. Viewers
2010 Vancouver:     190 Million
2006 Turin:     184 Million
2002 Salt Lake City:     187 Million
1998 Nagano:     184 Million
1994 Lillehammer:     204 Million
1992 Albertville:     184 Million

The Memphis Nielsen household ratings on WMC during the Olympic programming and news did as expected.  According to the Nielsen overnights ratings,  the average household rating for each Olympic daypart and news program are:

Memphis Household Overnight Ratings
2010 Vancouver Olympic Programming 
Olympic Primetime      12.4
Opening Ceremony      16.2
Closing Ceremony        9.0
Olympic Daytime M-F        3.5
Olympic Daytime Sa-Su        6.5
Olympic Late Night        6.5
Olympic Overnight Repeat        3.9
Memphis Household Overnight Ratings
WMC / NBC News Programming
M-F  6-7am News        6.7
M-F  7-9am Today Show        6.8
M-F  5-530pm News        9.0
M-F  6-630pm News      11.9
M-Su  Late News      10.1

Some other interesting 2010 Winter Olympic viewer facts from Nielsen:

Olympic ratings are highest among older viewers.

Olympic ratings among the Hispanic and African American viewers are each 74% below the national average.

Households that view in High Definition are more likely to watch the Olympic games.  55% of Olympic viewers are in HD homes.  41% of Olympic viewers are in DVR homes.

There are additional interesting comparisons between the 2010 XLIV Super Bowl viewers and the 2010 XXI Olympic Winter Games viewers at this link.