As we enjoy yet another night of Olympic programming on NBC, it’s as good a time as any to point out that Wednesday night’s coverage, featuring enough skiing crashes to satisfy even the most sadistic NASCAR fan, pulled in better ratings than FOX’s perennial powerhouse, American Idol.
It was the first time in six years that Idol has fallen, with FOX enjoying 18.4 million viewers while NBC reeled in 30.1 million.
It prompted NBC Sports & Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol to send a letter to NBC’s Vancouver staff celebrating the outcome.
“I cannot be more proud of all of you … proud of the work we’re doing …
proud of the shows we are putting on the air each day and night,”
Ebersol wrote, per SportsBusiness Daily. “America is definitely watching. We have more great
stories to tell. Keep up the good work.”
And as to the usual complaints regarding tape-delayed coverage of some events (the Miracle on Ice wasn’t broadcast live by ABC), those who get it realize that network programming decisions are not made with the interests of the unemployed in mind. It’s a business, folks, and the goal is to maximize ratings points not during the Dr. Oz and Judge Judy portion of the television calendar but when the majority of Americans are in their homes and watching their televisions.