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TV Ratings: Sochi Olympics Put 'Today' Back on Top

In an expected boost from the network's exclusive coverage of the Winter Games, NBC's typically second-place morning show gets sizable advantages over ABC's "Good Morning America."

Today Show Sochi Olympics 2/10/2014 - H 2014
Joe Scarnici/NBC
"Today" in Sochi

The benefits of NBC's Olympic deal continue to be evident throughout the programming day. Today, which has largely lingered in second place in the morning-show ratings war for the better part of the last two years, is already seeing big wins thanks to live coverage from Sochi.

Monday brought Today's biggest single-day victories over typically dominant Good Morning America since the 2012 Summer Games in London. With an average 2.678 million adults 25-54, it even bucked Sochi's slightly sagging ratings trend with a 3 percent improvement over the comparable Monday during the Vancouver Games.

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Today's average in the targeted morning news demographic put it 362,000 viewers head of GMA. And its advantage in the advertiser-friendly group proved even bigger than its win among total viewers. Today averaged 6.293 million viewers -- 349,000 ahead of GMA. It's the show's best delivery since August 2012.

NBC's last go at the Olympics, in 2012, came at a time when the tide was decisively turning in GMA's favor. Ann Curry had only lost her co-host gig two months prior, and Today was still occasionally winning in the demo. The show topped GMA throughout the two-week run in London, but as soon as Matt Lauer & Co. returned to Rockefeller Plaza, Today also ceded its edge to GMA. ABC has been on top, with few exceptions, ever since.

Lauer's new primetime role on NBC -- he'll pinch-hit for Bob Costas, who's suffering from an eye infection, on Tuesday -- could help boost Today's Olympic profile even more. The show has already been attracting all U.S. medal winners as guests. High-profile competitors Shaun White, Julia Mancuso and Gracie Gold have also appeared.

The Today crew also beat GMA in both measures during the first two days of Sochi, Thursday Feb. 6 and Friday Feb. 7.