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A winning night for Simone Biles and Michael Phelps was also a victory for NBC.
Thursday’s Olympics ratings jumped with all of the high-profile competition, averaging an overnight 20.4 rating among households — that’s up from the 17.4 overnight rating the night before, which ultimately translated to 26.4 million viewers for NBC.
Fast-affiliate ratings give NBC’s primetime showing for the games, between 8 and 11 p.m., 31.3 million viewers and an 8.9 rating among adults 18-49. As NBC Sports topper Mark Lazarus stressed with reporters on Wednesday afternoon, those NBC-only numbers are smaller this Olympics on account of live-streaming and more primetime coverage on the NBCUniversal cable suit.
Heading into Thursday night, the 2016 Summer Games had upped their average to 28.2 million viewers on the broadcast rating and an average 15.5 rating among households.
Competition was very slim, with most of the broadcast networks only offering repeats. Big Brother, still steady in the face of the games, brought an 1.8 rating among adults 18-49.
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