Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

NBC stars don't shine in Sochi

It started with Lindsey Vonn pulling out of the Olympics altogether, then a parade of big-name American flops in Week 1, including Bode Miller, Shaun White, Kelly Clark and Shani Davis.

NBC even lost its own biggest Olympic star, host Bob Costas, for several days because of an eye infection.

Despite all that, ratings overall have been solid for the network given the distant-time-zone challenge.

So, have the dimmed stars in Russia lessened interest back home, or not?

“I think it’s almost impossible to say for sure, but we certainly like when the stars win medals and it’s attractive to the viewers,’’ NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus said.

On the other hand, he noted, ratings were strong the night White failed to medal in the half pipe, even though most viewers knew the result.

“So I think certainly people want to see Americans win medals back home,’’ Lazarus said, “but they also want to see sometimes how stars don’t quite live up to their own expectations.’’

Tags: NBC , Olympics

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