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Monday May 21st, 2018 8:47AM

Ratings still strong for NBC; Tirico gets boss's endorsement

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — Highlights from media coverage of the Pyeongchang Olympics:

RATINGS: Five days into the Olympics, NBC is taking a cautious victory lap. While viewership is down from the Sochi Games four years ago, it's not by as much as most TV shows have dropped in the past four years. More importantly for NBC, the audience is bigger so far than the network privately promised advertisers, giving its executives the chance to make more money. Monday night continued that trend. The Nielsen company said 22.3 million people watched the Olympics in prime time, 20.9 million of them on NBC. That compares with NBC's viewership of 22.4 million for the corresponding night four years ago.

TIRICO TIME: NBC's prime-time Olympic host Mike Tirico has gotten a public endorsement from his boss. Tirico is "just as good if not better than we thought he'd be," NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus said Tuesday during a conference call. He said viewers seem to find Tirico accessible and pleasing, and he's done a good job drawing out athletes and their families during interviews. Tirico replaced longtime Olympic host Bob Costas.

TIME TO ORDER: Have to appreciate Italian speedskater Arianna Fontana's honesty after winning the women's 500-meter short track competition in a photo finish. It's her fourth Olympics, and her first gold medal. Fontana told NBCSN that the last four months have been rough on her. "I was on a strict diet," she said. "I'm Italian. I like to eat."

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

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