NBC was hoping that the Olympics would provide a long-term boost for their struggling Today Show, but after easily beating rival Good Morning America during the two-week mega sporting event, the show fell to second place just a week after the games ended.
According to the Nielsen Co., GMA beat Today by a margin of 162,000 viewers, despite a strong start to the week in which they beat GMA by 338,000 viewers on the previous Monday. Then it was GMA’s turn and the show won the next four days, topping out on Wednesday by beating Today by a whopping 517,000 viewers.
The victory by GMA continued a trend in which they had beaten Today for the previous five weeks before the Olympics and further cemented their position as the new king of the hill of morning shows.
And they did it without Robin Roberts, who had taken two weeks off to deal with the effects of her blood and bone marrow disease and was present for only one day during the ratings period.
It appears that the dumping of Ann Curry as a co-host has only made things worse for Today, and will prove to be very costly as ad revenues for the show, which has been a cash cow for the network, will drop as advertisers switch to the new number one, GMA, and will only cause further turmoil at the network.