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NBC airs most-watched Summer Games opening ceremony on record

by jmaloni
Sat, Jul 28th 2012 06:20 pm

40.7 million average viewers tops Atlanta opening ceremony; nearly 6 million more than Beijing; and 15 million more than Athens, the last European Olympics

Highest-rated Friday night on any network in a decade

In the more than 50 years of televised Olympics, NBC's coverage of the opening ceremony of the London Olympics (8 p.m. - 12:02 a.m.) is the most-watched for a Summer Games on record with 40.7 million average viewers, topping the Atlanta Games (39.8 million). Friday night's viewership is nearly 6 million more than the 2008 Beijing Olympics (34.9 million) and 15 million more than the 2004 Athens Olympics (25.4 million), the last European Olympics.

"This audience number for the London opening ceremony is a great early sign that our strategy of driving people to watch NBC in primetime is working. We look forward to the next 16 nights of compelling Olympic competition," said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus

The opening ceremony on NBC earned a 21.0/37 national rating/share, the best for a non-U.S. Summer Olympics ever, and the second best for a non-U.S. Games (summer or winter) in 36 years - since Innsbruck in 1976 (23.2/37).

  • Friday night's opening ceremony national rating of 21.0/37 is 12 percent higher than Beijing in 2008 (18.8/34) and 44 percent higher than Athens in 2004 (14.6/27).

  • The 21.7 rating for the night was the highest-rated Friday night on any network since the opening ceremony of the Salt Lake City Games (25.2 on Feb. 8, 2002).

Opening Ceremony Average Viewers (All Summer Games on Record):

1. London - 2012

40.7 million NBC

2. Atlanta - 1996

39.8 million NBC

3. Beijing - 2008

34.9 million NBC

4. Sydney - 2000

27.3 million NBC

5. Athens - 2004

25.4 million NBC

6. Seoul - 1988

22.7 million NBC

7. Barcelona - 1992

21.6 million NBC


Non-U.S. Opening Ceremony National Rating (Summer Games)

1. London - 2012

21.0/37 NBC

2. Beijing - 2008

18.8/34 NBC

3. Rome - 1960

18.1/36 CBS

4. Sydney - 2000

16.2/29 NBC

5. Seoul - 1988

15.2/29 NBC

6. Athens - 2004

14.6/27 NBC

7. Barcelona - 1992

13.8/29 NBC

8. Montreal - 1976

11.1/39 ABC

9. Mexico City - 1968

8.8/34 ABC

10. Munich - 1972

6.5/28 ABC

11. Tokyo - 1964

5.6/14 ABC

Top 20 Metered Markets for Opening Ceremony:

1. San Diego

27.8/49

T2. Washington D.C.

26.8/48

T2. West Palm Beach

26.8/48

4. Salt Lake City

26.6/50

5. Denver

26.4/51

6. Norfolk

26.3/42

7. Sacramento

25.4/47

T8. Kansas City

25.0/44

T8. Richmond

25.0/41

10. Columbus

24.9/43

T11. Boston

24.8/45

T11. Indianapolis

24.8/45

13. Seattle

24.4/48

14. Los Angeles

24.2/44

15. Atlanta

24.1/39

T16. Philadelphia

24.0/40

T16. Jacksonville

24.0/39

T18. Austin

23.9/44

T18. Ft. Myers

23.9/43

20. Portland

23.8/48

 

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