Olympic Viewing: Skating and curling

Highlights from television coverage of the Sochi Olympics:

STREAMS: For the third day in a row, an Olympic hockey game set an NBC record for most-streamed event online. This time it was the U.S.-Canada men’s semifinal on Friday, with 2.1 million streams. That’s believed to be the largest audience ever for a “TV Everywhere” authenticated event in the U.S. – meaning cable or satellite subscribers had to verify their subscriptions to stream the event on their devices.

RATINGS: The 20.3 million viewers for NBC’s prime-time telecast on Thursday was a relatively disappointing audience for the deciding night of the women’s figure skating competition, generally the marquee event of a winter Olympics. It was smaller than the audiences for the corresponding nights of the last two winter games. This time there was no American medal winner, which may have cut into viewership. During the day, just under 5 million people watched the gold medal hockey game between the U.S. and Canadian women, the Nielsen company said.

CURLING: CNBC gets a solid audience at dinnertime with its curling coverage, climaxed Friday by the men’s gold medal match between Canada and Britain. It’s an odd, complicated sport and the network’s announcing team can do a better job making novices feel involved.

DOCS: With competition winding down at the Winter Olympics, NBC has scheduled three documentaries to air during the last two days of coverage. “Lokomotiv,” scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday, is about the tragedy surrounding the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team that was wiped out in a 2011 plane crash. “Long Way Home: The Jessica Long Story,” profiles Paralympic athlete Jessica Long and her attempt to find her Russian birth parents, and airs in prime-time Saturday. The previously announced look at the Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding story is on Sunday at 7. “We think all are unforgettable and important stories to tell,” said Mark Levy, NBC’s executive producer in charge of the Olympic documentary unit.

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 .

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