By Dick Friedman
Good morning, all, from West Windsor, NJ...the home of surprise silver medalist in the 100-meter breaststroke Rebecca Soni. Congrats, Rebecca...the Garden State is proud of you!
Rebecca is in the demographic that is of particular interest to NBC at these Olympics. According to the A.C. Nielsen Co. the median prime-time viewing age for the Summer Games has been creeping upward: from 38.7 in Barcelona in '92, to 42.1 in Atlanta in '96, the 45.3 in Sydney in 2000, to 47.1 in Athens in '04. This suggests that mostly the same people have been watching (and all the while not getting any younger). That's why, to attract a younger audience, the Olympics have added new events such as BMX.
And at least in the early going in these Games the 18-34 demo has been showing up. NBC's president of research, Alan Wurtzel, told the Sports Business Daily that through the first two nights of coverage, viewing by the 18-34s has been running 22% ahead of the Athens numbers and 14% higher than Sydney's. I'd love to hear from you 18-34s. Are you, in fact, watching more of the Games this time around? If so, why?
P.S. Speaking of numbers, NBC on Sunday night averaged a 17.9 rating and a 31 audience share, up 21% from Athens.