Thursday, June 21, 2018
  • Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016
Inauspicious Start To Olympics Still Enough For NBC To Top Weekly Nielsens
The Olympic rings decorate the sail of Ukraine's Oleksandr Tugaryev as he prepares to compete in the men's RS:X at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  • BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP)
  • --

The Rio Games had a less-than-golden start for NBC but were enough of a draw to allow the network to dominate the weekly ratings.

The Summer Olympics opening ceremony had 26.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen company figures released Tuesday. That’s a 35 percent drop compared to the 40.7 million U.S. viewers who watched the opening of the London Games four years ago — although NBC is pointing to more time-shifted viewing and streaming as factors in the decrease.

Still, Olympic broadcasts were the three most-watched programs of the week of Aug. 1-7. The opening spectacle and events including gymnastics combined with two episodes of “America’s Got Talent” to give NBC five of the top 10 shows, Nielsen said.

The network led with an average of 15.3 million viewers, followed by ABC with 4.1 million. CBS had 3.9 million and Fox 1.7 million, the latter nudged closely by Univision with 1.6 million and Telemundo with 1.4 million. ION Television drew 1.2 million, followed by CW with 1 million viewers.

In the evening-news contest, NBC’s “Nightly News” held the top spot with 8 million viewers, followed by ABC’s “World News Tonight” with 7.7 million. The “CBS Evening News” had 6.3 million.

Below are primetime viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Aug. 1-7. Listings include the week’s ranking and viewership.

1. Summer Olympic Games (Sunday), NBC, 29.8 million.

2. Summer Olympics opening ceremony (Sunday), NBC, 26.5 million.

3. Summer Olympics (Saturday), NBC. 20.6 million.

4. “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 11.6 million.

5. “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), NBC, 9.4 million.

6. “The Bachelorette,” ABC, 8.6 million.

7. “The Bachelorette: After the Rose,” ABC, 8.1 million.

8. “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 6.8 million.

9. “NCIS,” CBS, 6.5 million.

10. “Big Brother” (Thursday), CBS, 6 million.

11. “American Ninja Warrior,” NBC, 5.9 million.

12. “Big Brother” (Wednesday), CBS, 5.8 million.

13. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 5.79 million.

14. “CMA Music Festival,” ABC, 5.6 million.

15. “Big Brother” (Sunday), CBS, 5.2 million.

16. “NCIS: New Orleans,” CBS, 5.2 million.

17. “Running Wild,” NBC, 5.1 million.

18. “Rio Olympics Preview,” NBC, 5 million.

19. “Night Shift,” NBC, 5 million.

20. “Life in Pieces,” CBS. 4.9 million.