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Feb 21, 7:20 PM EST

With viewers fascinated by Lindsey Vonn's quest for gold, NBC's viewership for the first time during the Olympics tops the corresponding night in Sochi four years ago


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Olympics News
The Americans lead Canada 1-0 after the first period of the women's gold medal hockey game at the Pyeongchang Olympics

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Highlights from media coverage of the Pyeongchang Olympics:

RATINGS: Lindsey Vonn has proven her mettle as a ratings draw. For the first time during the Olympics, NBC beat the ratings for the corresponding night in Sochi four years ago. An estimated 20.5 million people watched NBC, NBCSN or streaming services during prime time Tuesday, when the centerpiece of the coverage was Vonn's bronze-medal run in the downhill skiing competition. That compares with the 18.9 million people who watched NBC during Sochi. For NBC alone on Tuesday, the viewership was 18.8 million. Top NBC researcher Joe Brown called it "a gravity-defying media achievement."

WOMEN FIRST: NBC is on the brink of a historic accomplishment: These games will mark the first time female athletes have been featured more than men on a U.S. network's prime-time Olympic coverage. That's the prediction from three professors who have been tracking the gender breakdown of coverage for each Olympics since 1994. It's a turnaround not just from tradition but from the first 10 nights of Pyeongchang telecasts, when men had a clear edge. That was erased with the focus on American skiers Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin, and the trend is likely to continue with women's figure skating a big feature of the second week. Women have won a majority of Team USA's medals so far. While not perfect, "it's clear that NBC's Olympic coverage is leading any advancement for women athletes," said Andrew Billings, a University of Alabama professor who conducts the study with James Angelini of the University of Delaware and Paul MacArthur of Utica College.

CURLING HUMOR: U.S. curler Matt Hamilton exasperated NBC's Trenni Kusnierek when she asked how the team would be able to beat the feared Canadians in their next match. "Make more shots than they do," he said.

BURTON: Not only athletes get the recover-from-adversity treatment. NBCSN aired a strong profile on the founder of the Burton snowboard manufacturer and his fight back from a rare neurological disease.

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More AP Olympic coverage: https://wintergames.ap.org

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