Gabby Douglas, with hand at side, at Rio medal ceremony. Photo via Twitter
Gabby Douglas, with hand at side, at Rio medal ceremony. Photo via Twitter

NBC’s viewership for the second full week of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics was 23.8 percent lower than the second full week of the London Games four years ago, but nearly 2 1/2 times the combined amount of the three other major broadcast networks.

NBC averaged 19.85 million viewers for its prime-time programming between Aug. 15 and Sunday, according to live-plus-same-day figures released by Nielsen Wednesday.

CBS was second, averaging 3.81 million viewers, followed by ABC, which averaged 2.9 million. Fox averaged 1.39 million viewers to finish fourth among the major broadcast networks for the 19th consecutive week and sixth overall, behind cable’s Fox News Channel and the Spanish-language network Univision.

NBC has been the most-watched network for eight consecutive weeks, its longest streak since an 18-week streak from the weeks of May 7-Sept. 1, 1997.

NBC’s 19 1/2 hours of programming for ratings purposes consisted of six nights of Olympics coverage, the closing ceremony, “Rio Gold” Olympics highlight show, the comedy “Superstore” and a half-hour auditions episode of the singing competition “The Voice.”

NBC’s all-Olympics prime-time programming for the second full week of the 2012 London Games averaged 26.06 million viewers.

Factors cited by NBC for the lower broadcast viewership is that these are the first Summer Olympics in U.S. television history with broadcast network coverage, including prime time, being streamed simultaneously on digital platforms and cable coverage opposite the prime-time broadcast coverage.

Viewership was 29.7 percent less than the 28.23 million average for the first full week of coverage of the Rio de Janeiro Games.

Viewership for the second full week of the Summer Olympics is traditionally lower than the first full week, partially because many of the most popular events, such as gymnastics and swimming, are concentrated in the first full week.

NBC’s 10 programs swept the week’s top 10 most-watched programs, topped by the Aug. 15 Olympics coverage which included track and field’s women’s 400 meters and women’s gymnastics vault competition, and averaged 24.22 million.

Sunday’s closing ceremony was sixth for the week, averaging 17.03 million, 45.1 percent less than the 31.01 million average for the 2012 closing ceremony, the most-watched closing ceremony since 1996.

The Olympics-themed episode of “Superstore” was 10th for the week, averaging 9.67 million, the most for a comedy on Friday since Feb. 6, 2004 when ABC’s “Hope and Faith” averaged 10.83 million.

Just like it had been a week earlier, the week’s most-watched non-NBC program was the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes,” 11th for the week, averaging 6.94 million viewers.

The most-watched cable program was the TNT crime drama “Rizzoli & Isles,” which averaged 3.87 million viewers, 28th overall.

Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network for the 10th time in 11 weeks, averaging 2.1 million. USA Network was second, averaging 1.36 million.

The week’s most-watched Spanish-language program was the Monday episode of the Telemundo telenovela “Senora Acero 3: La Coyote” which averaged 2.08 million viewers, 57th overall.

As usual, Univision was the most-watched Spanish-language network, averaging 1.61 million viewers. Telemundo was second, averaging 1.36 million, followed by UniMas, which averaged 450,000, Estrella TV, which averaged 190,000, Azteca America, which averaged 110,000, and MundoMax, which averaged 70,000.

The “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” averaged 9.8 million viewers to be the most-watched network nightly newscast for the sixth consecutive week.

ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir” was second, averaging 7.82 million. The “CBS Evening News” was third, as it has been throughout Scott Pelley’s more than five years as anchor, averaging 6.3 million viewers.

The week’s 10 most-watched prime-time programs were NBC’s Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday and Friday Olympics telecasts, Sunday’s Olympics closing ceremony, the “Rio Gold” Olympics highlights show, “The Voice” and “Superstore.”

—City News Service

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