For all the bellyaching about NBC showing major Olympic events on tape delay in the western half of the United States, ratings in that region are outperforming those from the eastern portion of the country. So, West Coast Olympic fans, I wouldn't be expecting any live nighttime coverage of the Olympics for the foreseeable future.
Variety reports that the Mountain and Pacific time zones are delivering the highest Olympic ratings for NBC, while viewership in the Central and Eastern regions is considerably lower. This suggests that NBC's decision to air swimming and gymnastics events on a three-hour tape delay to the west coast has been effective, despite the negative reaction from many viewers.
NBC's ratings are the highest ever for an Olympics not hosted in America. Last night, 40 million viewers were estimated to have seen Michael Phelps win his record eight gold medal.
In other ratings news, Salt Lake City has the highest average viewership for the Games, not surprising considering Utah's capital city hosted the Winter Games in '02. Other Olympic viewing hotspots: Denver, Minneapolis, San Diego and Baltimore, hometown of Olympic star Michael Phelps.