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In rough Olympics, viewers perked up a bit in second week

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Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Athletes of the United States pose during the closing ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (Dan Mullen/Pool Photo via AP))

NEW YORK – In what was otherwise a rough two weeks in Tokyo for NBC, television viewers responded — at least slightly — to the U.S. Olympic team's strong performance in the second half of the Games.

NBC's prime-time broadcast viewership for the second week was down 46% compared to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics of 2016, the Nielsen company said. In the first week, NBC was down 52% compared to Rio.

Last Tuesday, the 14.3 million people who watched the Games on NBC was actually up from the 14 million that had watched a week earlier from Tokyo. Generally, viewership goes down in the second week of the Olympics as viewers begin to tire of the nightly competition.

NBC said the Tokyo games averaged 15.6 million in prime-time viewership when the main network, cable outlets and streaming are added in. That's down 42% from the Olympics in Brazil.

The Tokyo streaming consumption of 5.5 billion minutes was up 22% over Rio, NBC said.

For the week, NBC averaged 10.6 million viewers in prime time. CBS had 2.3 million, Fox had 2.1 million, ABC had 1.9 million, Univision had 1.3 million, Ion Television had 1.1 million and Telemundo had 960,000.

Fox News Channel was the most-watched cable network in prime time, averaging 2.06 million viewers. The USA network had 1.16 million, MSNBC had 1.01 million, HGTV had 980,000 and TLC had 910,000.

ABC's “World News Tonight” won the evening news ratings race with and average of 7.4 million viewers. NBC's “Nightly News” had 6.9 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 4.7 million.

For the week of Aug. 2-8, the 20 most-watched programs in prime time, their networks and viewerships:

1. “Summer Olympics” (Tuesday), NBC, 14.31 million.

2. “Summer Olympics” (Monday), NBC, 13.71 million.

3. “Summer Olympics” (Wednesday), NBC, 11.01 million.

4. “Summer Olympics” (Thursday), NBC, 10.99 million.

5. “Summer Olympics” (Friday), NBC, 9.85 million.

6. “Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony," NBC, 8.82 million.

7. “Summer Olympics” (Saturday), NBC, 8.45 million.

8. NFL Exhibition Football: Dallas vs. Pittsburgh, Fox, 7.31 million.

9. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 6.10 million.

10. “Tokyo Gold,” NBC, 5.84 million.

11. “Big Brother” (Sunday), CBS, 3.97 million.

12. “Big Brother” (Thursday), CBS, 3.73 million.

13. “The Bachelorette,” ABC, 3.66 million.

14. “Big Brother” (Wednesday), CBS, 3.64 million.

15. “Family Game Fight,” NBC, 3.39 million.

16. “NCIS,” CBS, 3.16 million.

17. “Tucker Carlson Tonight" (Wednesday), Fox News, 3.07 million.

18. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Monday), Fox News, 2.927 million.

19. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Tuesday), Fox News, 2.923 million.

20. “Tucker Carlson Tonight” (Thursday), Fox News, 2.8 million.