Winter Olympics' Saturday Ratings Mark New Low; Bob Costas Eyes a Monday Night Return

Ratings Winter OlympicsNBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics Day 8 averaged 16.6 million total viewers and a 4.2 demo rating, marking a consecutive low for the 2014 games (beneath Valentine’s Night’s 19.1 mil/4.5).

RELATED | Olympics Watch: What Was Your Favorite Moment From Sochi 2014, Day 8?

Those tallies also represent a 33 percent drop from last Saturday, the first full day of competition, and a 38 percent decline from the comparable night in Vancouver 2010.

Sunday night’s coverage — which includes the men’s alpine skiing super-G finals, women’s snowboard cross finals and the ice dancing short program — will be anchored by Matt Lauer, since ailing host Bob Costas is still listed as “day-to-day,” per our sister site Deadline.

UPDATE: NBC tweeted out a photo of Costas — whose eye infection was agitated by the bright studio lights — doing a test run in preparation to resume his duties on Monday night.

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16 Comments
  1. Jen says:

    Is it possible that NBC’s ratings are due to the fact that they are pre-packaging all the events instead of showing them live? I am shocked that they do it this way. In Canada everything is shown live regardless of if it is on at 3am. The Olympics are meant to be shown live. Who wants to watch “live” events when all the results are already known.

    • KSM says:

      Everything is covered live here too… then at night they just show the important stuff again. I am guessing since everyone has been home this week because of snow, people are just watching it live. You can also watch everything live online. So really, you don’t need to watch at night.

    • tealeaves says:

      I think the problem is that they are not showing things live. They did this last time, too. Live is traditionally how we watch most sports, isn’t it? For me, The Olympics are supposed to happen all day long. I would expect to turn them on at any time and see what is happening live. They can package and repeat key events during prime time if they want. But I forget they are on when they are only on a couple hours a day. Then when I do watch, the events are too packaged.

  2. Mary Ann says:

    Seems to me the most covered event of the Olympics is Bob Costa’s eye infection.

  3. Aryn says:

    Yes, they should show them live as they happen…seeing “highlights” the NBC PTB deem we viewers need or don’t need is pathetic! Boring, the only thing worth watching is the hockey now – skating and other snow sports have been a disaster for the most part for the US. Is it over yet??!!!!!

  4. Name That Tune says:

    Or maybe the Olympics are just plain dull and it’s the weekend. One more week and things are back to normal. I feel like the Olympics hijacked February since the networks are afraid to compete with it.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    NBC really blew it this time around. I love how sister networks like USA pre-empt programming for the Olympics – but they aren’t showing any of the events. Instead of paid programming, just show the events live and save your primetime for the highlights.

  6. lame says:

    PINK EYE, pink freak’n eye lays out bob costas [ not worthy of caps] for three or four days. Where’s Edward R. Morrow, Bernard Shaw, Peter Arnett or Christiane Amanpour, they stayed on assignment over far worse than PINK EYE.

    • lame says:

      Lucky for bob costas that Bob Hope isn’t around anymore, he’d verbally rip him a new one.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      But how can he read the teleprompter if he can’t see anything because his eyes are swollen shut? Have you ever had pinkeye? I had to take a few days off work once because I had pinkeye as an adult. I couldn’t read anything on my computer monitor, so it was kind of pointless trying to do data entry. I couldn’t even drive myself anywhere. While being rock star newscasters, I am pretty sure any of those people you just mentioned would take time off if they were temporarily blinded. Plus I think it’s considerate for Bob to not go into the studio when he has a contagious disease. It would be pretty rude to pass around something like that to your staff, particularly when you are in a foreign country and you’re not sure what kind of medical care you’ll have available. If he started passing that to people on his staff, pretty soon NBC wouldn’t have anyone to run the studio since nobody would be able to see what the hell they were doing.

      • lame says:

        He had pink eye not cataracts, it’s not air borne and can be cured with eye drops. It doesn’t affect your vision only makes your eyes itch and get puffy, The medication and dark glasses would’ve done the trick, but a week off, “holy therapeutic reparation,” how soft can one be.

  7. cmgww says:

    Maybe bc it was horrible to look at? It was distracting. All I could focus on were how terrible his eyes looked…as for the overall ratings, the US hasn’t done as well in the marquee events. Tape delay is nothing new, but when folks find out earlier in the day that the US athletes lost (Bode Miller, Shani Davis, Shaun White) they aren’t as likely to tune in that night. In today’s age you have to hide in a cave to avoid hearing who won what, so ratings are really based on how the US athletes do, as people will still tune in to see a winner even if they know the result.

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