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Olympic Ratings Update: Women's Soccer Nearly Outrates The Dream Team

When it comes to the Olympics, not everything is about the tape delayed primetime show. You have to remember that a lot of this coverage is on various cable networks in daytime, when everything is indeed live. Let's take a look around the games to see how some of our favorite sports are doing.

NBC's Rest of the Day

  • An interesting argument for showing every event live could be NBC's afternoon audiences, which hit 16 million viewers on Sunday for events like swimming, beach volleyball and water polo. The early morning window on NBC -- which showcased events like women's cycling -- is growing from 6.0 million to 12.7 million viewers throughout the early hours. Funny note: Mike Emrick and Pierre McGuire -- two of NBC's lead hockey announcers -- are working the water polo tournament. If NBC drew anywhere near 16 million for the Sunday afternoon U.S. water polo match, it would be a higher audience than any NHL game the two have ever worked for the network.
  • How badly do people want to see Olympic action? The odds and sods (and long ago taped) late night program, hosted by Mary Carillo well after midnight ET and PT, is drawing 6.9 million viewers, more than any regular season Major League Baseball game this year.

Team USA

  • The NBC Sports Network drew 2.64 million viewers on Sunday morning for the first game of the Dream Team's quest for a second straight gold medal in men's basketball. The game peaked at 3.0 million. Impressive stuff for the typically mocked "cable network no one can find" for 9:30 a.m.
  • Also on NBCSN, U.S. Women's Soccer drew 2.47 million viewers for their victory over Columbia on Saturday afternoon. The audience peaked at 3.34 million. Coming close to USA basketball for preliminary round action? Not bad for women's soccer.

Everything Else

  • NBC Sports Network saw great numbers for -- of all things -- rowing coverage, which drew 3.14 million viewers from 7-8 p.m. ET on Saturday, and marking the best non-NHL audience in the network's history. Overall, NBCSN has drawn the most consistent numbers of any cable network for the Olympics, averaging 1.09 million viewers from 4 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET Saturday, and 1.20 million from 4 a.m. - 7 p.m. ET Sunday.
  • MSNBC is doing fairly well, drawing 713,000 viewers from 7 a.m. - Noon ET, and 1.49 million from Noon - 5 p.m. ET. These numbers are up 44% from the first two days in Beijing, and up 163% from Athens.
  • Bravo is doing well with tennis, drawing the network's best weekend morning numbers since October of 2007.
  • CNBC is averaging 698,000 viewers a day for Olympic boxing, up 24% from the same time period in 2008 in Beijing.

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