Olympics a dud, TV-wise
Mark Washburn/Charlotte Observer, Feb. 11, 2006
Predictions of a ho-hum launch for the 2006 Winter Games have come true -- and how.
Friday's Olympic opening ceremony was the worst-watched in at least a decade, according to preliminary TV ratings data available Saturday.
In the Charlotte area, the Olympic parade on NBC wasn't even the No. 1 rated show in prime time -- it was beaten by "Dancing With the Stars" on ABC.
Whether that trend extends nationally won't be known until Monday when Nielsen Media Research calculates weekend ratings information.
Until Friday, the lowest local ratings in the last 10 years for an Olympic opening night was the 2000 Sydney ceremony, which was viewed in only 13.2 percent of households in the Charlotte area. But Turin's opener fell far short of that, falling to 10.6 percent.
The Atlanta opening ceremony in 1996 had the highest local rating of the decade -- 21 percent.
NBC paid $613 million for exclusive U.S. rights to the Winter Games, which hasn't matched previous games in excitement because of a relatively unknown cast of American athletes.
Original link: http://www.charlotte.com/mld/charlotte/entertainment/television/13849760.htm