Highlights from coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics:
NO GLOATING ALLOWED: There was no mistaking the grin on Savannah Guthrie’s face as the “Today” show juxtaposed pictures of a sunny Sochi with snow falling on empty, slush-filled streets outside of the show’s Manhattan studio Thursday. “We’re not gloating, we’re just reporting the news,” Guthrie said. The “Today” team was dressed in sweaters on their outdoor set in Sochi.
RATINGS: An estimated 20.8 million viewers watched Wednesday night’s prime-time Olympics on NBC, the smallest audience of the Sochi games so far. And for the first time, that was significantly lower than the corresponding night in Vancouver four years ago, which had 29.4 million viewers. In fairness, that same night in Vancouver was a blockbuster, with Shaun White, Lindsey Vonn and Shani Davis all winning gold medals; White and Davis’ competitions were televised live in the eastern United States. This year, only Davis competed on Wednesday, and he finished off the podium in a race shown on tape delay.
STREAMS: Worldwide, the busiest time for people watching live streams of Olympic competition happened Tuesday, a tie between cross-country skiing in the morning, and figure skating and snowboarding in the evening. That’s according to the company Akamai, which is helping more than 20 broadcasters deliver live and on-demand video online. The company won’t reveal the countries where it is providing the service, with the exception of France and Norway.
EYE ON COSTAS: Bob Costas is taking his third sick night from NBC’s prime-time broadcast because of an eye infection.
David Bauder can be reached at dbauder(at)ap.org or on Twitter(at)dbauder. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/david-bauder.