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By Published on .

CBS won the February sweeps measurement period by the largest margin ever in the history of Nielsen's sweeps.

CBS averaged a 22 rating and a 34 share in prime time from Feb. 3 to March 1, primarily due to coverage of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. The Games were the most watched single event in U.S. TV history, reaching an estimated 204 million viewers, or 83.7% of all people in U.S. households.

ABC averaged an 11.4 rating and a 17 share, NBC a 10.6 rating and a 16 share and Fox a 7.6 rating and an 11 share.

But the period wasn't just an Olympic victory for CBS, which averaged a 14.7 prime-time rating during non-Olympic time periods, compared with a 12.8 for ABC and an 11.7 for NBC.

And CBS' regularly scheduled prime-time programs during the February sweeps averaged a 15.8 rating, vs. 11.3 for ABC and 11.1 for NBC.

In fact, CBS' regular programs ranked as five of the top 10 and 10 of the top 20 network prime-time programs during the sweeps.

That is good news for CBS affiliates, all but 30 of which get their local TV ratings set by Nielsen during the sweeps.

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