Soon only one guy in Idaho will have missed Olympics
Here is another item that I wrote for the Friday column that got bumped from the paper:
By any measure, vast quantities of Americans are watching the Olympics. But NBCs news releases keep seeking increasingly creative ways to illustrate that.
Some are cute, as when the Peacocks announced Michael Phelps led the most-viewed Saturday show on the network since an Empty Nest episode in 1990.
Others are voodoo numbers. NBC is touting total viewership on all its TV outlets for the entire Games, which through Wednesday came to 206 million people.
That made it the second most viewed television event in U.S. history behind only the 209 million for the 1996 Atlanta Games. (And the Beijing Games had "reached" 85 percent of American homes.)
Nice. But those figures include any person or home that watched six minutes of any sport on any day on any channel. So if you saw 360 seconds of handball on MSNBC and nothing else, you count!
Are advertisers interested in such data? Alas, no.