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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Thurs.-Sun., Feb. 22-25) -- Olympics go down and out

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NBC’s 18 nights of Winter Olympics telecasts from Pyeongchang ended Sunday. In the closing 90 minutes, so did the Games’ perfect record against all competing programming.

Audiences generally were down overall from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. But those Games were outdrawn on various nights by episodes of Fox’s American Idol and AMC’s The Walking Dead.

This time around, the competition from rival networks wasn’t nearly as formidable, with the Olympics beating everything in sight in both total D-FW viewers and advertiser-prized 18-to-49-year-olds until Sunday’s return of Walking Dead that ran from 8 p.m. until nearly 9:30.

The Olympics soundly spanked Walking Dead in total viewers during those 90 minutes by a score of 384,593 to 227,907. But Walking Dead very narrowly took the gold with 18-to-49ers -- 121,703 viewers to 118, 583.

NBC filled the last half-hour of prime-time Sunday with a “preview” episode of A.P. Bio, which had 170,930 total viewers in running second to the closing half-hour of Fox4’s 9 p.m. local newscast (178,053 viewers). A.P. Bio won the half-hour among 18-to-49-year-olds, though.

Overall, Sunday’s 7 to 9:30 p.m. closing ceremonies averaged 370,349 total viewers and 112,342 in the 18-to-49 realm. Both numbers exceed the 2014 closer from Sochi, which also was beaten from 9 to 9:30 p.m. in both measurements by Fox’s rain-delayed Daytona 500.

Saturday’s nighttime Olympics presentation had 256,396 total viewers and a relatively puny 65,533 within the 18-to-49 motherlode. Both were down from the equivalent Saturday from Sochi.

Friday’s Olympics averaged 299,128 total viewers and 127,945 in the 18-to-49 range. Both were marginally down from 2014.

The biggest drop came for Thursday’s prime-time Winter Games coverage, which in large part was devoted to the women’s figure skating finale. It averaged 363,227 total viewers compared to 497,091 for the 2014 women’s finale. Among 18-to-49-year-olds, Thursday’s Olympics drew 134,186 viewers. Unclebarky.com did not include the 18-to-49 numbers in the 2014 Olympics post, but be assured they would have been appreciably higher than for the 2018’s women’s finale.

One can look at the overall 2018 Olympics ratings in D-FW from a variety of angles. NBC’s conventional TV coverage managed to beat all competing programming, save for AMC’s Sunday night re-load of Walking Dead, in times when various streaming options and other platforms were more readily available and utilized than in 2014.

As noted, though, rival networks used heavier ammo in 2014, with Idol a strong competitor throughout the Winter Games while an earlier re-starting Walking Dead had more match ups opposite Sunday night Olympics coverage.

No one, including NBC, expected this year’s Olympics from Pyeongchang to outdraw the 2014 Winter Games from Sochi. In that four-year span, ratings have gone down for just about everything, including even the once seemingly invulnerable NFL. The Olympics still very much amounted to a shared audience experience for many millions of viewers. The Peacock’s long-term investment in them still seems like a wise business decision -- for now.

OK, on to the Thursday and Friday local news derby results.

Thursday -- CBS11 won a downsized three-way competition at 10 p.m. in total viewers while Fox4 took the gold with 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

Fox4 once again swept the 6 a.m. races and added 5 and 6 p.m. firsts among 25-to-54-year-olds. NBC5 drew the most total viewers at 5 p.m. and tied Fox4 for the top spot in this measurement at 6 p.m.

Friday -- NBC5 had a big day, running the table at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. in both ratings measurements. But no one currently can beat Fox4 at 6 a.m. -- and no one did.

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