WOW! Olympics’ TV viewership larger than American Idol. There is hope for humanity!

OK, I actually watch American Idol… but am an avid fan of the Olympics. SO – I was please to read this article. 

To me, seeing an athlete compete on the world stage is more inspiring than the TV producing that surrounds horrible singers and drama on Idol. I should tell you that I also appreciate the great singing talent as the competition gets serious on Idol. Sure, there is drama threaded into the Olympics too… I recognize that. Bottom line: I have hope for humanity, seeing that the Olympic ratings are solid.
Thanks to Media Life for the article. 

Zowie! Olympics
beat ‘American Idol’

Games average 30 million viewers to 18.4 million

Feb 18, 2010

After six years, “American Idol’s” amazing winning streak is over.

NBC’s Winter Olympics finished ahead of the Fox smash during their shared hour last night, becoming the first program since “Fear Factor” in May 2004 to do so among either total viewers or adults 18-49. 

The Olympics averaged 30 million viewers and a 9.0 adults 18-49 rating at 9 p.m. against “Idol,” according to Nielsen overnights, well ahead of “Idol’s” still-formidable 18.4 million and 6.9 rating, both season lows.

It looks as though it will be the highest-rated night thus far of the Olympics, with early numbers tracking about 50 percent ahead of Turin four years ago.

But it took a heck of a U.S. effort to lift NBC past “Idol.” Three U.S. athletes — Shani Davis, Shaun White and Lindsey Vonn — won gold medals, increasing the U.S.’s total for these games to five. Davis’ victory was shown live, while word of Vonn’s win had already been widely circulated on the internet during the day.

Still, she and White are arguably the biggest stars on the U.S. team, with White being called one of the most dominant Olympians ever after last night’s halfpipe win. And snowboarding is very popular among young adults, the ones who also watch “Idol.”

“Idol” had defeated the Olympics by a few million viewers and a sizeable 18-49 margin on the previous night, and presumably will start a new unbeaten streak once the Winter Games are through. 

Meanwhile, NBC finished first for the night among 18-49s with an 8.9 average overnight rating and a 23 share. Fox was second at 4.5/12, CBS third at 1.8/5, Univision fourth at 1.7/4, ABC fifth at 1.5/4 and CW sixth at 0.4/1.

As a reminder, all ratings are based on live-plus-same-day DVR playback. Seven-day DVR data won?t be available for several weeks. Thirty-four percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

Also, ratings for NBC?s Olympics are approximate as fast nationals measure timeslot and not actual program data.

NBC was first during each hour of the night, beginning with a 7.6 at 8 p.m. for the Olympics, followed by Fox with a 2.1 for ?Human Target.? ABC was third with a 1.7 for repeats of ?Modern Family? and ?The Middle,? Univision fourth with a 1.5 for ?Hasta que el Dinero Nos Separe,? CBS fifth with a 1.3 for repeats of ?The New Adventures of Old Christine? and ?Gary Unmarried? and CW sixth with a 0.6 for a ?Life Unexpected? rerun.

At 9 p.m. NBC led with a 9.0 for more Olympics, followed again by Fox with a 6.9 for ?Idol.? Univision was third with a 2.4 for ?Sortilegio,? CBS fourth with a 1.9 for a repeat of ?Criminal Minds,? ABC fifth with a 1.5 for more ?Modern Family? and ?The Middle? reruns, and CW sixth with a 0.3 for a repeat of ?Gossip Girl.?

NBC was first again at 10 p.m. with a 10.1 for the Olympics, with CBS second with a 2.0 for a repeat of ?CSI: NY.? ABC was third with a 1.2 for repeats of ?Cougar Town? and Univision fourth with a 1.1 for ?Don Francisco Presenta.?

Among households, NBC led the night with a 16.7 average overnight rating and a 26 share. Fox was second at 7.4/11, CBS third at 4.5/7, ABC fourth at 2.6/4, Univision fifth at 2.1/3 and CW sixth at 0.7/1.

Toni Fitzgerald is a staff writer for Media Life.

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