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home : sports : regional November 24, 2015

Olympic Viewing: Who's Reading Lips?

Highlights from coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics:

LOOKING AT ASHLEY: One of the most scrutinized Olympic moments over the weekend had more to do with lip-reading than athletic competition. TiVo said that the one moment people rewound their DVRs to watch more than any other on Saturday night was when unhappy American skater Ashley Wagner looked at the scoreboard to find her scores after skating to Pink Floyd. She wasn't pleased. Her one-word response looked about as sour as her expression. Facebook also said Sunday that Wagner was one of the most talked-about subjects on the popular social media site over the weekend. Facebook's most discussed topic, however, was the moguls performance of Canadian sisters Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe, who took gold and silver.

RATINGS: An estimated 25.1 million people watched NBC's prime-time Olympics coverage on Saturday night. That's the biggest Saturday night audience in February for a broadcast network since the Vancouver games of 2010. The audience is down from the 26.2 million people who watched the comparable Saturday night coverage four years ago. The first Saturday in Turin eight years ago, when the time difference also prevented live prime-time events, was 23.2 million.

FEATHER DOWN: Yes, the strength and athletic skill required of Olympic-caliber ice dancers is undeniable. But it's that much harder to take seriously as a sports event when two Russian skaters have a point deducted from their performance because a feather from the woman's costume fluttered to the ice. It seemed unremarkable to NBC analyst Johnny Weir, who just came from that world, but kudos to Terry Gannon for not letting the inherent ridiculousness of the moment slip past.

BIG BEN: As if it wasn't scary enough, the NBC Sports Network graphic that compared the height of the ski jump to Big Ben effectively illustrated the sheer nuttiness -- oops, we mean bravery -- of the athletes who participate in this sport.

CONGRATS: American women medal winners stick together. Gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, silver medal-winning skier Julia Mancuso and silver medal-winning snowboarder Hannah Teter all tweeted congratulations to American Jamie Anderson for winning gold in snowboarding on Sunday. Tweeted Teter: "You are a boss!!"

GOLD ZONE: The "Gold Zone" is rapidly becoming the most popular element of NBC's digital package. Modeled after the "Red Zone" NFL show that distills big moments in football games as they happen, the "Gold Zone" rapidly whips fans from venue to venue during the day for live competition.

CROSS COUNTRY: The competitors lost their breath, and Chad Salmela nearly lost his voice analyzing the long-distance cross country skiing race. Give him credit, though, for bringing excitement to an event that was -- to most people outside northern Europe -- a bunch of unpronounceable names darting through the woods.

UPCOMING: Competing in the super combined, American Mancuso attempts to win her fourth Olympic medal on Monday.

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