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NBC Olympic ratings strong; who needs skiing?

U.S. athletes Apolo Anton Ohno and Hannah Kearney are strong enough television draws to make up for the weather-related alpine skiing cancellations.

The Nielsen Co. says that 26.2 million people watched the Winter Olympics on NBC Saturday night. Ohno's silver medal performance in the short track speedskating was one of the night's biggest stories, along with Kearney's defeat of favored Canadian Jenn Heil in the women's moguls.

Two nights in, the ratings news is all good for NBC. The Saturday audience was larger than any that NBC drew for any night in the Winter Games four years ago. And it was on a night when the postponement of men's Alpine skiing Saturday blew a hole in NBC's planned schedule. Figure skating hasn't started yet, either, and that's usually the most popular sport.

Friday's opening ceremony had an audience of 32.6 million people.

By from news services  |  February 14, 2010; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  Vancouver 2010  
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I wonder if the higher ratings will mean they actually make a profit on this Olympics.

Posted by: idiparker | February 14, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

It's great to be able to see our team do so well, but it would be nice to experience more choice in coverage of the games, i.e. watch those channels which are commercial-free and not listen to commentators shamelessly plug the latest Pixar film or some other product. We seem to be stuck with NBC, which gets a "C" for its effort. The Olympics are about the games, all athletes, and their stories. And the international perspective is sometimes more welcome than what NBC is able to serve up. Darn consumerism...

Posted by: emmaparker | February 15, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

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