Olympic viewing: More than 31 million for opening ceremony

Highlights from coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics:

NBC's EDITING: In a sign of how closely NBC's actions are being watched, the website Deadspin compared a speech that International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach made with the edited version NBC aired and headlined a story, "NBC Edits Out IOC Anti-Discrimination Statement From Opening Ceremony." True. NBC also left in another anti-discrimination statement by Bach. He made a point about the value of tolerance more than once in his speech. You could argue that the stronger statement was edited out — but not that NBC altered his message. Rich Ferraro, spokesman for the gay rights advocacy group GLAAD, said Saturday he had no comment on the editing. He said NBC's networks don't appear to by shying away from the issue of how gays and lesbians are treated in Russia, and they should keep it up.

RATINGS: An estimated 31.7 million people watched the opening ceremony on Friday night, the Nielsen company said. That's down 1 million from the audience for the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Vancouver, which was televised live. NBC prefers a comparison to the last Winter Olympics opener shown via tape delay, from Turin in 2006, which was seen by 22.2 million viewers. The individual market with the best ratings was Minneapolis.

TRAINING: NBC is experimenting by airing live figure skating during the daytime on its NBC Sports Network, while showing tape-delayed coverage of the same events on the broadcast network in prime-time. The plan also gives on-the-job training to what may be its next generation of marquee analysts, the team of Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski. Lipinski is the more experienced broadcaster, and it shows. So far Weir is concentrating on hitting his marks and not worrying about adding flair.

RERUN: The NBC Sports Network aired Mary Carillo's feature about touring Sochi with Maria Sharapova less than 24 hours after it was initially shown on NBC. Really? Everything that's poured in to this event and there's a rerun on the day after the opening ceremony?

MY BOYFRIEND: NBC sports reporter Tanith Belbin, a former ice dancer, was asked by Dan Patrick whether she can be impartial in reporting about her boyfriend, American ice dancer Charlie White and his teammate, Meryl Davis. "I do have an objective eye," she said. "To a certain degree, of course. I'm also nervous watching them skate. I want them to succeed."


David Bauder can be reached at or on Twitter@dbauder. His work can be found at