Tuesday, August 19, 2008

While you were sleeping... OLYMPICS edition, Pt. 3

Phelps gives NBC best ratings
Oh, did you hear? Phelps won his 8th gold medal on Saturday night, becoming the greatest Olympian ever. You know who's the most happy about that? NBC. 31.1 million tuned in on Saturday night, giving the network its best Saturday night ratings in 18 years, and in the half hour the Americans were swimming, as many as 39.9 million were tuned in. This has been the most viewed Summer Olympics in years, helping to justify the $894 million NBC Universal paid for the American television rights. The numbers have plummeted some this second week, with the more popular events- swimming (esp with Phelps) and gymnastics out of the way, but I think it's safe to say NBC will retain the chance for these Games to be the most watched Olympics ever.

Phelps rolling in endorsements
I promise to stop talking about Phelps after this one! Prior to the games, he was making around $5 million/year. After his record breaking run at these Olympics, experts are predicting anywhere from $30-50 million/year. Ummm.... hello, Michael Phelps! My number is 201-555... ;) I may be a little bit late on that boat, there are rumors of his supposed love life floating around the internets already.

Liu Xiang pulls out of the Olympics
Where as you have victorious stories like Phelps's, the Olympics also spell heartbreak for the hundreds of athletes who don't get to stand on a podium. Such is the case with Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang, who in China, is the equivalent of Phelps here. He became the first gold-medalist for China in track and field in Athens 4 years ago, and since then, he's become a national hero of epic proportions- endorsements, billboards, magazine covers. The entire country had been waiting for his hurdle race, as he was to defend his title in his home country. A flared tendon combined with a right hamstring injury, which was not helped by a false start during the race, forced him to walk off the field on Sunday, leaving 91,000 fans stunned, as well as the entire country crushed. I can just imagine how badly he wanted to finish the race, and the kind of pressure he must have been under to deliver, despite his body betraying him. Sad sad sad.

Shawn Johnson finally wins gold
The 16-year old World Champion finally won gold in the balance beams, the last gymnastics event, after racking up 3 silvers at these Games. A heavy favorite to win the all-around, she finished second to teammate Nastia Liukin, before also being edged for gold on the floor exercises as well as in the team competition. I think she's so cute and I was rooting for her, so I'm glad she finally got a gold.


sang said...

So how much is NBC making do you think off of the oylmpics? net profit wise?

and yes.. running events for some reason are not as fun to watch as swimming.