From the no-surprise department, NBC Sports Network — a channel whose only impressive ratings days in any given year are attributable to the Stanley Cup Final — has set viewership records for the 2012 London Olympics.
On the strength of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday and Sunday were the most-viewed days in the history of NBC Sports Network (previously Versus and OLN). In particular, coverage of the Olympics averaged 1.093 million viewers on Saturday (4 AM-8 PM ET) and 1.204 million on Sunday (4 AM-7 PM).
Olympic coverage accounted for the three largest non-NHL audiences in NBC Sports Network history. Rowing led the way with 3.140 million viewers from 7-8 PM ET Saturday — not completely surprising given the advantageous telecast window.
Sunday’s United States/France men’s basketball telecast ranked second with 2.648 million viewers. The telecast, which began at 9:30 AM ET, actually drew fewer viewers than the first USA Basketball exhibition game this year — a 54-point blowout win over the Dominican Republic that aired in primetime on ESPN (2.718M).
Rounding out the top three, Saturday’s United States/Colombia women’s soccer match drew 2.478 million viewers. Notably, the women’s soccer match peaked with a larger audience (3.346M) than the men’s basketball game (3.036M).
The largest television audience in network history remains 3.6 million viewers for Game 3 of the 2010 Blackhawks/Flyers Stanley Cup Final.
(Weekend numbers from NBC Universal Media Village)