Led by record-breaking results for the network's coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, NBC has won the primetime week of July 23-29 in all key ratings categories with an average 5.8 rating, 17 share in adults 18-49 and 19.0 million viewers overall, according to "live plus same day" viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research. These are NBC's top averages since January 30-February 5, the week of the Super Bowl, and, excluding that week, since February 2010 during the Vancouver Olympics.
Through the first three nights of the London Olympics, NBC was averaging 35.8 million viewers, the best through the first weekend for any Summer Olympics in history (since the 1960 Rome Olympics, the first televised Olympics), 1.4 million more than the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (34.4 million) and five million more viewers than 2008 Beijing Olympics (30.6 million).
The average audiences for Friday's Opening Ceremony (40.7 million) and Sunday's competition coverage (36.0 million) were higher than any night from the Beijing, Athens or Sydney games. In household rating, the three-night average of a 19.2 rating, 33 share, is 12 percent higher than Beijing (17.1/31) and 36 percent higher than Athens (14.1/26).
The first three nights of London Olympic coverage accounted for the week's #1, 2 and 3 telecasts in all key ratings categories and NBC's "America's Got Talent" tied for the top-rated non-Olympic show on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in adults 18-49. The Tuesday and Wednesday editions of "Talent" were the top two non-Olympic telecasts on those networks for the week, combining with the Olympic coverage to give NBC the top five primetime ratings of the week on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in total viewers.
"America's Got Talent" has been the #1 non-sports program on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in total viewers for the last nine weeks in a row and has been #1 or tied for #1 among non-sports programs on those networks for eight of the last nine weeks.
Among NBC's top-ranked programs for the week in adults 18-49, London Olympics coverage finished #1, 2 and 3, Tuesday's "America's Got Talent" tied for #4, Wednesday's "Talent" tied for #9, Monday's "American Ninja Warrior" finale tied for #13, Wednesday's "Jimmy Fallon's Primetime Music Special" tied for #18 and Monday's "Fear Factor" encore tied for #26.
NBC won the week by a 313 percent advantage over second place in total viewers (19.0 million vs. 4.6 million for CBS) and by a 314 percent margin in adults 18-49 (5.8 vs. 1.4 for Fox). Excluding weeks with a full seven nights of Olympics coverage, these are NBC's biggest margins in a summer week in the history of Nielsen's People Meter sample (which dates back to September 1987). Also excluding weeks with a full seven nights of Olympics coverage, NBC's 19.0 million average last week in total viewers is the network's highest outside the traditional September-to-May season since the week of July 15-21, 1996 during the Atlanta Summer Games.
Primetime averages for the week of July 23-29 in adults 18-49 were: NBC (5.8/17), Fox (1.4/4), CBS (1.1/3), NBC (1.0/3) and CW (0.2/1). In overall total viewers, the weekly averages were: NBC (19.0 million), CBS (4.6 million), Fox (3.6 million), ABC (3.5 million) and CW (0.6 million).
For the 2011-12 broadcast year to date, NBC is #3 among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in adult 18-49 rating and is the only network among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox that's up versus one year ago. NBC is also #2 in adults 18-34 for the broadcast year to date. Averages for the broadcast year through 45 weeks are: Fox (2.9/8), CBS (2.6/7), NBC (2.4/7), ABC (2.3/7) and CW (0.7/2). In overall total viewers, the broadcast-year averages are: CBS (10.5 million), Fox (8.0 million), ABC (7.8 million), NBC (7.3 million) and CW (1.5 million).
NBC highlights for the week of July 23-29
* On Friday, NBC's coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics delivered the biggest average audience for an Opening Ceremony of a Summer Games on record, 40.7 million viewers. That's an increase of nearly six million persons versus the audience for the opening night of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
* On Saturday, the first night of competition for the London Olympics delivered the biggest overall average audience for a Summer Games opening night on record, with 28.7 million average viewers. Versus the 2008 Games, Saturday's primetime audience was up by nearly five million viewers.
* On Sunday, the London Olympics drew 36.0 million viewers, the most for the first Sunday of a non-U.S. Summer Games in history. Versus the 2008 Games, Saturday's primetime audience was up by more than three million viewers.
* On Monday, "American Ninja Warrior" grabbed its highest 18-49 rating since June 18 and ranked #1 among ABC, CBS and NBC for its second hour from 10-11 p.m. ET in 18-49 and all other key demos.
* On Tuesday, "America's Got Talent" scored the night's #1 results in 18-49 and total-viewers.
* Also on Tuesday, "Love in the Wild" won the 10 p.m. ET hour among ABC, CBS and NBC in 18-49.
* On Wednesday, "The CLIOS: World's Best Commercials" walked off with NBC's best non-sports results of the summer in the time period in 18-49 and total viewers.
* Wednesday's "America's Got Talent" Results Show scored the #1 results of the night on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in 18-49 and total viewers with the show's highest Wednesday results since June 27.
* Also on Wednesday, "Jimmy Fallon's Primetime Music Special" ranked #1 among ABC, CBS and NBC in the 10 p.m. hour in adults 18-49 and all other key demographics.
Ratings reflect "live plus same day" data unless otherwise noted. Season-to-date figures are averages of "live plus seven day" data except for the two most recent weeks, which are "live plus same day."
Additional NBC highlights for the week of July 23-29:
On Monday, July 23 from 8-9 p.m. ET, an encore telecast of "Fear Factor" averaged a 1.3 rating, 4 share in adults 18-49 and 3.8 million viewers overall. In the time period, the "Fear" encore ranked #2 or tied for #2 among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in men 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.
Monday from 9-11 p.m. ET, "American Ninja Warrior" (2.0/5 in 18-49, 4.9 million viewers overall) scored its highest 18-49 rating since June 18 and delivered its biggest overall audience since June 25. This week's season-finale telecast was up versus the prior week's 9-10 p.m. results by 11 percent in 18-49 rating (to a 2.0 from a 1.8) and by 6 percent in total viewers (4.9 million vs. 4.6 million). Versus two weeks earlier, "Ninja" was up 43 percent in 18-49 rating (2.0 vs. 1.4) and 22 percent in total viewers (4.9 million vs. 4.0 million). In the time period, "American Ninja Warrior" was #2 among ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in adults 18-49 and most other key demos. From its first half-hour to its fourth, "American Ninja Warrior" grew by 60 percent in 18-49 rating (to a 2.4 from a 1.5) and by 43 percent or 1.7 million persons in total viewers (5.7 million vs. 4.0 million). Versus NBC's average in this time period last summer, "American Ninja Warrior" was up 82 percent in 18-49 rating (to a 2.0 from a 1.1, "live plus same day," non-sports).
For its second hour from 10-11 p.m. ET, "American Ninja Warrior" ranked #1 among ABC, CBS and NBC in every key demographic and beat The Combined ABC-CBS rating in adults 18-49 (with a 2.3 rating from 10-11 vs. a 1.1 for CBS's "Hawaii Five-0" encore and a 0.8 for ABC's "The Glass House").
On Tuesday, July 24, from 8-10 p.m. ET, "America's Got Talent" (2.7/8 in 18-49, 10.4 million viewers overall) delivered the #1 results of the night in adults 18-49 and total viewers. In the time period, "Talent" ranked #1 in adults 18-49, total viewers, adults 25-54 and other key categories. Week to week, "Talent" was up 4 percent in 18-49 rating (to a 2.7 from a 2.6) and up 3 percent in total viewers (10.4 million vs. 10.2 million). From its first half-hour to its fourth, "Talent" grew by 27 percent in 18-49 rating (to a 2.8 from a 2.2) and 30 percent or more than 2.6 million persons in total viewers (11.4 million vs. 8.7 million).