Winter Olympics: Opening Night Ratings Down From 2014 Sochi Games

The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, was off to a hot start on Thursday night with its first night of action on NBC.

However, the ratings are in for the events broadcast on both NBC and NBC Sports, and the two combined for a lower rating than the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

According to Nielsen's overnight ratings, the two channels posted a combined 11.1, down 6% from the 2014 event's opening night. That could be a bad sign for the network given that the Sochi Olympics wound up being the lowest-rated games in NBC history with a 5.5 average rating in the 18-49 demographic

But there is some good news as that rating ties NBC record for highest-rated prime time show on Thursday nights since the NFL Kickoff Game on Sept. 7, 2017.

Thursday's broadcast marked the first time the network has aired live events prior to the Opening Ceremony broadcast, which aired live online on Friday morning but will be shown as a replay at 8 p.m. ET on Friday night.

The night's events included freestyle skiing and pairs figure skating, the latter of which was hilariously recapped by Saturday Night Live cast member Leslie Jones on Twitter.


NBC still managed to beat out some heavy competition from rival networks. Fox's The Four posted a 1.3/5 rating, the same as its Feb. 1 show despite the added interest of it being a season finale and the controversy surrounding judge Charlie Walk.

ABC's lineup of Shonda Rhimes shows saw a 13, 21 and 20% ratings decrease in key demos with Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder, though the last two were able to generate some buzz by showing a sneak peak of the upcoming crossover.