Olympic stars take down American Idol

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.

20 responses to “Olympic stars take down American Idol

  1. winter sports so wack, would rather watch a game of the Arena Football league wait a minute they cancelled that league oh well thank God i have NBA TV

  2. CANADA COULD ONLY BEAT SWITZERLAND 3-2 in a shootout after an overtime tie and in extra shots to boot. Proving all those geniuses wrong who said on this blog that Canada had the best team and scorers in the tournament.
    Great game to watch. It was on MSNBC for the first period then they cut it off to present the wacko Olbermann’s rant show at 8pm, switching the game to CNBC.

  3. Ebersol is a typical executive w/ no morals; he was the one NBC assigned to do the requisite hatchet-job on Conan that NBC does whenever they want place blame on someone else and tarnish their reputation (Dave, Conan, Howard Stern, etc). They made the call to move Conan, not Conan himself. And when it fails? Make sure the golden parachute crew project all their failures on the guy who 6 months ago was more important than God to them.
    Let’s see if this gets posted on this NBC/Comcast/Universal/GE-owned site.

  4. Hey, Mike, on the subject of tape delays: PLEASE stop putting Olympic results in your NBC Sports Headlines. I’m watching the competitions at night and don’t want to know in advance of seeing the race that Lindsey Vonn won the Gold!!! I try to avoid looking at the right side of the PFT page when I’m here, but sometimes the eye goes there anyway and you acting as spoiler kind of sucks.

  5. If a skier falls in Vancouver, but it’s not on TV, does it make a sound? In internet age, yes.
    I appreciate the NBC storytelling, but this tape delayed stuff is killer. Glad to see you can be bought off by a few NBC paychecks, Florio.

  6. who cares anymore?
    this is stoooopidity. winter olympics? what’s that? who cares? i bet their ratings are down bigtime. i just don’t care anymore, it’s all about money.
    i’d rather find happiness in my family and taking care of bidness there.

  7. It was a great night which is why people watched. I am sure knowing Vonn won gold actually helped. I actually watched the entire night with my wife. She was interested in Apolo Anton Ohno in short track and Louie Vito in halfpipe because they were on Dancing with the Stars.
    The best part of the night? NO FIGURE SKATING.

  8. Tape delay sucks for the West Coast. Only a NBC hack would deny that. To compare any modern sporting event to one that featured the USSR is a sham. That was 30 years ago. It worked then because there was no social media. ESPN had just been founded and hardly anybody in the country had it. Ebersol is the man but watching events on delay when they happen in your own time-zone is the worst!

  9. So NBC beating Idol ONCE in 6 years is reason to celebrate? For the money NBC shells out to televise the Olympics, it better beat everything, including all the re-runs on every other channel except FOX. Once the games are over, they’ll go back to sucking in 4th place. The Office & SVU are the only decent things on NBC & the ratings week after week prove it.
    We’ve watched the Olympics & the coverage has been commendable, but let’s not get carried away patting yourselves on the back.

  10. And Russia lost to Slovackia in a shootout. Told you it was a wide open tournament and any of 6 teams could win it. Plus teams like Germany and Switzerland are not easy to beat anymore either.

  11. These olympics have been great to watch, so much better than the summer games. It helps to have actual top athletes in the events, Vonn,Ohno,White,Davis. Hell I’m even getting into the Curling matches! White is a freak of nature with what he has been doing, Vonn on a bad shin skiing at times on the good leg to take the pressure off the bad shin was impressive and the speed skaters are outragious to watch. Good Luck the rest of the way guys and gals, you make us proud!

  12. I myself would prefer the Winter Olympics over Idol (damn there’s some hot chicks in the Olympics this year!), but Ebersol should face reality… The only reason the Olympics beat Idol that night was because Idol was doing that stupid “interview” make it/don’t it portion of the season. Had it been the regular singing competition portion, it would have smoke the Olympics.

  13. I’m not an American Idol person but egypt123 is right. Idol was not the actual competition, but instead it was an airing of the selections. It’s the equivalant of an NFL pregame show.

  14. Hey Bob S , everyone knows that in a single game elimation tournament a team with a hot goalie can win the tournament. You’re not breaking any news to people that there are 6 teams with a shot at winning. The Czech’s won in 98 because Hasek was the best goalie in the tournament by far. Hiller is a good goalie and when you outshoot the Swiss 45 to 23 you can’t say that Canada is or isn’t the best team at this point. The point is that they won, even when facing a hot goalie. Canada didn’t play to their full potential, they could have played better yes, but it is very early in the tourney and the players are still trying to build chemistry. Did you know that the head coach of the Swiss is from Winnipeg and they have many Canadian players on their team? Their best player Dominichelli played for Canada in the world juniors back in the day for Christ sakes! So they play a Canadian style and they aren’t the swiss cheese like they used to be.
    Olympics have been amazing to watch, I’m glad the ratings have been good south of the border. The US has seen some great performances, Shaun White in the pipe was just ridiculous not to mention the skiing and skating performances by the US have even been better than expected.

  15. Deb – Loved your comment to grand poo-bah Florio regarding the Olympic updates. Good luck getting him to pay attention – since the move to NBC he’s got people to read and disregard the comments for him.
    Regarding Idol – I’m not a fan – that just another channel of dead air space whenever FOX runs it., The thrills and excitement of watching paint dry would be my choice over that show. No surprise the Olympics kicked Idol’s patootie.

  16. @aikman8 …
    So are you happily taking care of family “bidness” when the NFL is on? It’s competitive, often dangerous sports featuring athletes that have trained for lifetimes and the only stupid thing is your cutesy spelling. What a weird comment.

  17. Ottawa49ers
    i remember when canada used to beat teams like switzerland, finland and germany by 20 goals or more AND that was before nhl players were used. yes a hot goalie and any of these teams could win TODAY but that was not the case years ago. there is not that gap in ability anymore even with the nhl players involved. hockey has really improved in europe.
    on the other hand – did you see how canada and russia(with the exception of ovechkin) were not hitting merely tic tac dough show off passing? it will be different as the games mean something. note- all 12 of these teams advance. next time they play after each’s 3rd game it will be real hockey.

  18. aikman8 – your comment was pure “stoooopidity” – were you one of the few watching the “staged and predetermined, made for TV” – Idol.

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