Press-Republican

Entertainment

February 17, 2014

Olympic Viewing: Sagging ratings, Costas to rescue

Highlights from television coverage of the Sochi Olympics:

STOP, ALREADY: Christin Cooper's interview with Bode Miller after he tied for a bronze medal in the men's super-G ski race was a shameful spectacle. Cooper repeated essentially the same question — a variation of 'how does it feel?" — again and again and again until she not only drew tears, but a complete breakdown by Miller over the death of his younger brother within the past year. It was tone-deaf and cruel, and short-circuited the thoughtful, intelligent perspectives Miller had started to offer until he couldn't talk anymore. It's even more inexplicable that NBC felt the need to show it all; it wasn't live.

RATINGS: After a quick start, NBC's ratings for the Sochi Olympics are fading. Saturday night's prime-time telecast was seen by 17.1 million viewers, the smallest audience so far and smaller than any night of the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. The Saturday telecast opened with the compelling story of the U.S.-Russia men's hockey game, but things quickly went downhill, and there were few notable performances by Americans to keep home team fans interested. The comparable Saturday in Vancouver had 26.7 million viewers, and the Turin Games in 2006 had 19.7 million. The hockey game on the NBC Sports Network was seen by an average of 4.1 million people, swelling to 6.4 million during the shootout, strong numbers that indicated how word spread quickly about what was going on.

EYE ON COSTAS: Ol' Red Eyes is coming back! NBC said that Bob Costas will return Monday night as host of the network's prime-time telecast. Matt Lauer filled in one last time on Sunday. That means Costas will have missed seven days because of a stubborn infection that reddened first one of his eyes, then the other, and left him sensitive to light.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Entertainment