We can complain all we want about tape delayed events, live streams filled with ads, Bob Costas' eyes and the lack of success of Americans at the Olympics. NBC appears headed on the road to another successful Winter Games.
NBC's coverage of the Olympics in primetime on Monday drew 22.4 million viewers. That was down 11 percent from the network's coverage on the same night in Vancouver's 2010 Olympics. However, remember that those Games mostly aired live in the eastern time zone. Viewership increased from the 21.1 million who watched the same night in tape delayed Torino 2006.
The Games drew 23.7 million viewers on Tuesday in primetime, which was a gain of over five million viewers from the same night in 2010 (18.6 million), which had to battle with a still-powerful American Idol. Competition was pretty nonexistant for NBC on Tuesday, but those numbers are still impressive. The top ten local markets for Tuesday's coverage: Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Denver, Milwaukee, Austin, Ft. Myers, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Providence and Kansas City.
On cable, the Olympics continue to be a success. Tuesday's NBCSN broadcast drew an 0.9 overnight, and marked the fourth consecutive day the network has doubled its audience from the 2012 London Games. While more are obviously aware of NBCSN now than they were a year and a half ago, this is still a big deal.
Finally, for you hockey fans, a couple of tidbits. Team USA's women's hockey opener against Finland drew 318,000 viewers on Saturday morning at 3 a.m. ET, which is pretty impressive. That beats quite a few NHL broadcasts that air in primetime on the east coast. The viewer number for their second game against Switzerland is unavailable, but get this: the rerun of the game on NBCSN at 5 p.m. ET Monday drew 1.1 million viewers. For a 9-0 blowout.
While the Americans remain ineffective, with the individual figure skating competitions and men's hockey about to get into gear, there looks to be no stopping the Olympic machine anytime soon on broadcast or cable.