By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated February 13, 2002 01:54 PM
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The first three nights of Olympic coverage as well as attentive eyes focused on its regular lineup propelled NBC to a decisive ratings victory for the week ending Feb. 10, the first full week of the February sweeps period, according to Nielsen Media Research. NBC averaged 24.1 million viewers and a 9.3 rating/23 share in adults 18-49 and won every night of the week in the demographic. CBS came in second with viewers (11.8 million), while Fox took the bronze in the 18-49 group (8.4 million, 3.9/10) According to Nielsen Media Research data, ABC logged 8.7 million viewers and a 3.2/8 in 18-49. Also noteworthy is that NBC’s broadcast of the Salt Lake City Olympics opening ceremony from 8-11:45 p.m. Friday set a household rating record for an Olympic opening ceremony (25.5/42), breaking the previous record (24.2/37) for the 1960 Winter Olympics in California’s Squaw Valley. NBC’s opening ceremony coverage also set a total-viewers record with an estimated 72 million people tuning in for some or all of the event, an improvement over the previous highest turnout for the 1994 opening-night festivities in Lillehammer, Norway. Matt Damon’s appearance also helped goose the ratings of “Will & Grace” last week. The Top 10 shows of Feb. 4-10, as measured by Nielsen: