July 31, 2012 11:30am PT by Michael O'Connell
London 2012: Olympics Give 'Today' a Ratings Victory, Though 1 Million Shy of Beijing
As its exclusive stateside coverage of the London Olympic Games drives NBC's primetime coverage to record ratings, the network is seeing less growth in the morning.
Today, which has Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and company reporting live from the U.K., topped Good Morning America by some of the widest margins in some time -- though not at the same levels it enjoyed during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Fast affiliate ratings give Today 5.6 million viewers Monday, 2.4 million being in the coveted adults 25-54 group. The numbers mark respective 14 percent and 16 percent drops from the first Monday in Beijing, which saw 6.5 million viewers and 2.89 million adults 25-54.
Monday's broadcast earned the show some flak from critics, when Missy Franklin’s tape-delayed swimming victory was spoiled in a promo.
Week to week, Today had solid gains for the Monday. Although final numbers for last week won't be in until Thursday, fast affiliates gave the Aug. 23 broadcast 4.5 million viewers and 1.7 million adults 25-54.
GMA is up over 2008 with total viewers and relatively steady in the demo. Monday's broadcast earned ABC 4.1 million viewers (a 6 percent bump over the corresponding Monday in 2008) and 1.6 million adults 25-54, a 1 percent loss.
Compared with the previous Monday, GMA slid fewer than 150,000 viewers against its Olympic competition and actually improved in the demo.
Email: Michael.OConnell@THR.com; Twitter: @MikeyLikesTV