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174 mn people watch Winter Olympics on NBC

MUMBAI: Viewership for the Vancouver Olympics has swelled to 174 million on NBC Universal, three million more than the 2006 Winter Games event, according to data available from Nielsen. The 25.2 million average viewers through 12 nights of the Vancouver Games is the most for a non-U.S. Winter Olympics since the tabloid-fueled Lillehammer Games which attracted an audience of 39.4 million, according to data available from Nielsen. It is also 20 per cent higher than the average viewership of the 2006 Winter Games through 12 nights.
 
The event has now surpassed 20 million viewers in primetime each night thus far. Tuesday night‘s coverage drew 21.3 million viewers on a night that faced a two-hour episode of the juggernaut, American Idol on Fox, as well as an episode of Lost on ABC.


On the comparable night during the last Winter Olympics in 2006, American Idol had an advantage of 7.5 million viewers going head-to-head with the Olympics (30.2 - 22.7 million viewers from 8-10 p.m.).
 
The ratings provide five learnings from the event:


1. The Olympics is a huge cultural event.
46 per cent of Olympic viewers changed their typical routine to watch the Olympics. 63 per cent stayed up longer than usual to watch, resulting in 42 per cent being more tired than normal. 35 per cent of viewers cried or became teary-eyed while watching (25 per cent among men).


Big event TV programming is bigger now more than ever.
More than half of all Americans have watched the Vancouver Olympics on the networks of NBC (174 million). That‘s 24 per cent more viewers than watched the entire 2009 season of American Idol (140 million for 39 separate telecasts).
 
The Olympics remains as a positive family viewing experience.
77 per cent of parents say they use the Olympics to teach their kids values.


There is tremendous growth in younger viewers.
Gains from youth categories far exceed growth in older demos. Viewing among the 18-24 age group is up 46 per cent and viewing among older teens (15-17) is up 34 per cent (compared to viewing for Torino Games).


People are looking for a share cultural experience in a fractionalised media world.
There aren‘t many experiences that let people share an event in such great numbers. 63 per cent of Olympics viewers say, My friends and I enjoy talking about these Olympics. (source: Knowledge Networks.

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