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Local Nielsen ratings snapshot (Fri.-Sun., Aug. 5-7) -- Olympics dominate but sharply decline before recovering


JC had a good view of Friday’s Opening Ceremonies. Photo: Ed Bark

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Awash in negative pre-publicity, NBC’s first three nights of the Summer Olympics from Rio won all the ratings gold medals while initially being no match for the 2012 Games from London.

Friday’s elongated Opening Ceremonies, which stretched all the way to 11:30 p.m., were an especially big shortfall in the D-FW Nielsens. They averaged 531,180 viewers, way down from the 894,181 four years ago.

Still, the next biggest ratings attraction, Fox Sports Southwest’s Texas Rangers-Houston Astros game, had just 106,236 viewers. So if everything’s relative, the Olympics are still a ratings monster.

Saturday’s prime-time Olympics telecast, which stretched well into late night with an 11:10 p.m. finish time, averaged 538,262 viewers compared to 663,862 for the second night from London. Rangers-Astros on FSS again were the night’s distant runner-up with 120,401 viewers.

On Sunday night, the Olympics easily made their biggest ratings impression with an average of 842,806 viewers. That was up a few notches from the 819,666 for Night 3 of the 2012 Games. NBC offered a considerable amount of live swimming coverage, highlighted by swimmer Michael Phelps’ 19th gold medal as part of the U.S. men’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay team.

The Rangers’ extra inning day game win over the Astros, again on FSS, took the silver with 184,142 viewers in a game that ran until 5:09 p.m.

Here are Friday’s local news derby results.

Fox4 won a downsized 10 p.m. competition in both total viewers and 25-to-54-year-olds (main advertiser target audience for news programming).

The station also had twin wins at 6 a.m. while NBC5 swept both the 5 and 6 p.m. races.

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