Winter Olympics Score Record Ratings On Cable
NBC's coverage of the Winter Olympics may have reached an all-time low in the ratings, but the Games have turned out to be a boon for the NBC Universal cable outlets USA Network, MSNBC, and CNBC. Several events -- in particular ice hockey and curling -- have tripled the two cable networks' usual numbers, according to Nielsen Media Research. NBC Universal said Tuesday that coverage of women's curling on Saturday averaged 1.26 million viewers on MSNBC -- making it the network's most-watched Saturday broadcast since the start of the war in Iraq nearly three years ago. CNBC saw an even larger growth spurt. While it averaged just 155,000 viewers in primetime in January, it averaged 1.04 million last week for its curling coverage. USA Network was reportedly averaging 1 million viewers, up 51 percent from a year ago.