According to a report in Multichannel News, NBC racked up more than 190 million Americans who watched at least some of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. In spite of the nail-biter men’s hockey final that pitted the U.S. against host Canada in an overtime gold medal game, the audience count still came up with a silver medal. It trailed the record set back in 1994 for the games in Lillehammer: 204 million viewers.
The network reportedly lost $200 million on the Winter Olympics, but the hope was that the games would lure viewers back to the network. The coverage did post a 13% increase in rating shares over the 2006 Winter games, but it’s not clear that any of that has carried over beyond the closing ceremonies. The NBC prime time ratings are up about 45%, but whether that’s due to the Olympic coverage or the fact that the network moved Leno out of the 10 PM slot and back to the late night position isn’t clear.