When it comes to the Summer Olympics, Chicagoans haven’t really been too excited about the games (perhaps we still have a hangover from losing the 2016 Olympics bid to Rio?)
The games of the XXX Olympiad from across the pond in London has drawn an average of 32.8 million viewers in primetime for the first twelve nights, up from the 29.8 million the Beijing Summer games drew four years ago, making it the most-watched non-American based Olympics games has scored since Montreal Summer Games in 1976, which aired on ABC.
In the overnight ratings over those same twelve nights from 56 metered markets, the games have averaged a 18.5 household rating and a 27 household share, up 8 percent from the first twelve nights of Bejing games.
In Chicago, the Olympic Games drew a 19.7/35, ranking 25th among metered markets over twelve nights. Despite the middle-of-the-pack rankings, the games have been a boon to NBC-owned WMAQ, who’ve seen their late news soar in the ratings.
Los Angeles’ KNBC is slightly ahead of Chicago, tied for 23rd with New Orleans’ WDSU at a 19.8/29. On the other hand, New York’s WNBC ranked 32nd with a 19.1/32.
Salt Lake City (KSL) leads all markets with a 26.5/47, followed by Kansas City (KSHB, 24.3/40) and Milwaukee (WTMJ, 24.2/40.) Among other Midwest markets, Indianapolis (WTHR, 22.5/38) ranked seventh; Minneapolis (KARE, 21.3/40) ranked twelfth; St. Louis (KSDK, 20.5/34) ranked 21st; Cleveland (WKYC, 19.3/33) ranked 29th; and Detroit (WDIV, 18.5/31) a surprisingly low 41st, given WDIV is one of NBC’s strongest affiliates.
Meanwhile, the Olympics don’t seem to be playing well in Mayberry, as the lowest rated Olympic market in the twelve-night average was Charlotte (WCNC, 14.6/26), a stone’s throw away from Raleigh, the second-lowest market (WNCN, 16/26). Coming in just ahead of the North Carolina was Dayton (WDTN, 16.6/27.)
The real test for the Olympics comes tonight and over the weekend as the NFL’s pre-season schedule gets underway. The Bears’ first practice game is tonight against the Denver Broncos on WFLD-TV.