NBC's prime time Olympics coverage Wednesday was down from the comparable night for 2010's Vancouver games, but it still put a dent in "American Idol."
NBC's prime time Sochi Olympics telecast, with Matt Lauer subbing again for Bob Costas, averaged 20.8 million viewers, down 29% from the first night of Wednesday competition in 2010, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen. Keep in mind, the comparable day in Vancouver, when live coverage drew a huge 29 million viewers, was one of the biggest audiences of the Games.
In the key 18-49 demographic, NBC again topped the other broadcasters with a rating of 5.6, also down sharply from four years ago. A ratings point equals about 1.3 million viewers among 18-49-year-olds.
"American Idol" fell 13% from a week ago to a 3.4 in the advertiser-desired demo and drew 11.4 million viewers overall as the singing content whittled down to 30 contestants. In terms of percentage change, that's a smaller decline than the last time "Idol" faced the Olympics on a Wednesday. Of course, "Idol" had much better ratings four years ago.
ABC's only original telecast was an episode of "Super Fun Night," which registered a 1.3 in 18-49, also off 13% week-to-week. CBS was again in rerun mode with "Mike & Molly" and its big Beatles retrospective.
CW showed the movie "Best in Show."