Lance Armstrong has been a trending topic before, but the professional cyclist and cancer survivor is making headlines these days, not for his achievements, but for his admission that he took performance enhancing to improve his cycling performance and win the seven Tour de France titles. Oprah sat down with Armstrong to discuss the situation that has left his fans stunned and disappointed, with the first part of the interview airing last night and the second part set to air on OWN tonight. The ratings are in and they're impressive.
TVLine posted the ratings, stating that the 9:00 p.m. broadcast of Oprah's Next Chapter last night brought in 3.2 million total viewers. That falls just a little bit behind OWN's top-rated telecast, which was when Oprah interviewed Whitney Houston's family. That episode of Next Chapter was viewed by 3.5 million viewers. An additional 1.1 million viewers tuned in for the re-airing of Armstrong's interview last night.
Here's a snippet of the sit-down from the first part of the interview, in which Armstrong answers yes and no questions, admitting to use of drugs and using blood transfusions to enhance his performance.
In the video above, Armstrong admits he doesn't think it was humanly possible to win seven Tour de France races without using drugs. He elaborates a bit more on that here.
He's not actually saying it and I could be misinterpreting what he's saying, but "I didn't have access to anything else that nobody else did," almost sounds close to "everyone else was doing it…," which could be true. It doesn't excuse Armstrong's choices, but it does raise further questions about the sport, at least as it was in the 90s.
The second part of Oprah's interview with Lance Armstrong airs tonight (Friday, January 19) at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on OWN.