Highlights from television coverage of the Sochi Olympics:
RATINGS: An estimated 18.9 million viewers watched NBC’s Olympics coverage on Tuesday night, down from 21.3 million in Vancouver in 2010 and 25.1 million in Turin in 2006 on the corresponding night – although those nights four and eight years ago had women’s figure skating, and this Tuesday didn’t, the Nielsen company said. NBC also has an idea of what many people were doing at work on Wednesday: Nearly 800,000 people streamed portions of the U.S.-Czech Republic hockey game on computers or devices. A total of 24.1 million minutes of the game were streamed, nearly 10 million more than the second most-streamed event of the games (the U.S.-Russia hockey game, which happened on a weekend).
SSHHHH!: “You can hear a pin drop in here,” NBC’s Scott Hamilton says during Yuna Kim’s figure skating performance. Let that be a hint, Scott!
TWEET OF THE NIGHT, PART I (9:50 p.m. ET): “I might appreciate figure skating a lot more if NBC Olympics didn’t show it non-stop.”
TWEET OF THE NIGHT, PART II (9:54 p.m. ET) “Stop cutting away from ladies’ figure skating. No one cares about skiing!”
PROOF THAT YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE: See above.
TEAM PLAYER: If I’m a U.S. bobsledder, I’d want Lolo Jones on my team. She worked hard trying to comfort partner Jazmine Fenlator, who was in tears after their bobsled finished out of the money in Wednesday’s competition. Then she cut off the rest of the interview to say she wanted to go cheer the rest of her teammates on. NBC’s Lewis Johnson wisely let her take control.
ICE CAPADES: NBC says it has locked in 7 p.m. ET Sunday for the airing of “Nancy & Tonya,” its one-hour documentary on the 1994 drama involving skaters Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding, where Kerrigan was whacked in the legs by men hired by Harding’s ex-husband. The film features fresh interviews with the two skaters. A completely different remembrance starts this week on the Logo cable television network: “Ice Queens” is a retelling of the story performed entirely by drag queens.
BLEAK DAY BY BLACK SEA: Mike Milbury on the USA Network captured the host country’s mood after Finland ousted Russia in men’s hockey, shutting the home team out of a medal. “It’s a day of infamy in Russia,” Milbury said.
ALL YUNA, ALL THE TIME: There’s no question where South Korea’s focus was on the opening day of the women’s figure skating competition. Twitter released a composite of the most retweeted pictures from the country on Wednesday – and virtually all were of Yuna Kim, the defending skating gold medalist.
TOUGH CROWD: Ole Einar Bjoerndalen will have to settle for fame back home. His victory in the mixed relay biathlon on Wednesday made the Norwegian, with 13 medals, the most decorated Winter Olympian. With an American skier winning gold, two American medals in women’s bobsled and the first night of women’s figure skating competition competing for time, the accomplishment earned Bjoerndalen a sentence in NBC’s prime-time coverage.
PARALYMPICS: NBC Sports says it will televise 52 hours of coverage from the upcoming Paralympic Winter Games from Sochi, starting with the opening ceremony on March 7. All but four of the hours will be on the NBC Sports Network cable channel. Five winter sports will be televised: Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, biathlon, wheelchair curling and sled hockey.