Another Olympics week, more ratings gold for NBC

NEW YORK – If a week could contain more than seven nights, NBC would have won them, too.

In the final round of the Summer Olympics, NBC had the week’s top eight broadcasts, including two Olympics-oriented programs airing Sunday. An average of one-quarter of all televisions watched in prime time each night were tuned to NBC.

And the Olympics finished in fine style: NBC’s closing ceremony telecast was the week’s most-watched show, drawing 31 million viewers.

The Olympics even lifted NBC to second place for the broadcast year in both total viewers and adults ages 18 to 49, as the network pulled within one-tenth of a rating point of first-place Fox in the 18-to-49 demographic.

Bottom line: The Olympics stole the show for NBC – and most of the audience.

About the only network not hurt by NBC’s Olympics coverage was, for the second week, Univision. Fans remained loyal to their Spanish-language telenovelas as the week’s five editions of “Que No Podia Amar” again finished among Nielsen’s top 20 shows. And again last week, Univision topped ABC and Fox in viewers.

NBC’s prime-time viewership average for the week was 26.06 million (15.1 rating, 25 share), with CBS a distant second place with 4.12 million (2.8 rating, 5 share), followed by Univision with 3.76 million (1.3 rating, 3 share), ABC with 3.04 million (2.0 rating, 3 share), Fox with 2.24 million (1.4 rating, 2 share), ION Television with 920,000 (0.7 rating, 1 share), and CW with 600,000 (0.4 rating, 1 share).

Among the remaining Spanish-language networks, Telemundo had 1.1 million (0.6 rating, 1 share), TeleFutura had 500,000 (0.3 rating, 0 share), Estrella had 170,000 (0.1 rating, 0 share) and Azteca had 90,000 (both 0.0 rating, 0 share).

Brian Williams’ “Nightly News,” based in London again last week, continued to enjoy an Olympics boost of its own, averaging 9.8 million viewers (6.6 rating, 13 share). ABC’s “World News” was second with 6.8 million (4.6 rating, 9 share) and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.4 million viewers (3.7 rating, 7 share).

A ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation’s estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

For the week of Aug. 6-12, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony (Sunday), NBC, 31.01 million; Summer Olympics (Tuesday), NBC, 30.15 million; Summer Olympics (Wednesday), NBC, 29.09 million; Summer Olympics (Monday), NBC, 26.57 million; Summer Olympics (Thursday), NBC, 22.86 million; Summer Olympics (Friday), NBC, 22.49 million; Summer Olympics (Saturday), NBC, 21.79 million; “London Gold” (Sunday), NBC, 21.16 million; “NCIS,” CBS, 6.84 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 6.29 million.