Prime time Olympics coverage drops 7 percent from Sochi

A security person stands near the Olympic flags during a ceremony to mark the arrival of the Olympic flag and start of the flag tour for the Winter Olympic Games Beijing 2022 at a section of the Great Wall of China in Beijing Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Ng Han Guan

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC finished the Pyeongchang Olympics by averaging just under 20 million viewers with its prime time coverage on the network, NBCSN cable and live streaming. That represented a 7 percent decline from the Winter Olympics of 2014.

For NBC alone, the Nielsen company said the prime average was 17.8 million, or a 17 percent decline from Sochi. In 2014, NBC only offered prime-time coverage on the network, and did not have simultaneous programming on cable and online.

NBC says the viewership helped make the Olympics profitable. Viewership started out stronger than executives expected at the beginning of the Olympics and faded toward the end. The network says it also showed strong growth in late-night, as there was a lot of live competition then because of the time difference.

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