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Sunday, September 17, 2000
U.S. Olympic TV ratings numbers down

 NEW YORK (AP) -- NBC's taped coverage from the Sydney Olympics on Saturday night produced ratings lagging behind those from other Summer Games.

 The U.S. network did have its best Saturday night rating since Game 1 of last year's World Series, though.

 NBC's first evening of competition, from 7:30 p.m. to midnight EDT/PDT, drew a 13.1 rating and 25 share. The network hadn't had such a highly rated Saturday since Oct. 23, 1999, when the Yankees beat the Braves 4-1.

 But the second day of the 1988 Seoul Olympics drew a rating that was 19 per cent higher (15.6), and the 1996 Atlanta Games' second day was 31 per cent better (17.2).

 The 1992 Barcelona Games opened on a Saturday, drawing a 13.8.

 NBC's two-day average rating for prime-time telecasts from Australia is a 14.5. That's six per cent lower than Seoul's 15.4, and a drop of 30 per cent from Atlanta's 20.5.

 NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol has said he expects NBC's prime-time coverage to average between a 17.5 and 18.5 over the course of the Olympics. All the competition will be shown on tape on NBC and cable partners CNBC and MSNBC.

 Sydney is 15 hours ahead of the East Coast.

 Each rating point for NBC represents 1,008,000 households, or one per cent of the nation's estimated 100.8 million TV homes. Share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

 Canadian ratings were not yet available.
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