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PyeongChang Olympics opening ceremony is most-watched Friday night program on any network in 4 years


Sun, Feb 11th 2018 12:00 pm
NBC television average of 27.8 million viewers for opening ceremony, tops four-year stretch of Friday shows, including 4 World Series games, 2 NBA Finals games & all 3 Fridays of Rio Olympics
NBC's coverage of the opening ceremony for the PyeongChang Olympics posted a total audience delivery average of 28.3 million viewers to rank as the most-watched Friday night program on any network since the 2014 Sochi Olympics, according to live plus same day fast national data released Saturday by Nielsen, and digital data from Adobe Analytics. (Nielsen "out of home" viewership will be available early this week.)
NBC's 14.7/27 primetime household rating for the opening ceremony outperformed by 167 percent the combined rating of ABC, CBS and FOX for the night (5.5), to rank as the most-dominant Friday in People Meter History (September-May TV season, since September 1987).
Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Broadcasting & Sports, said, "The opening ceremony was a terrific show, which we hope will only be topped by the excitement generated by the athletes and competition over the next few weeks. American audiences continue to be interested and excited for the Games, and the early consumption results show that our multiple platform strategy is dominating the media landscape."
•The NBC television viewership of 27.8 million for the opening ceremony marks the largest audience on a Friday night in four years, a stretch that included four Friday World Series games, two NBA Finals games, three nights of 2016 Rio Olympics coverage, and two nights of the Sochi Olympics.
•Opening ceremony viewership on NBC peaked at 31.5 million from 9-9:15 p.m. ET, as Team USA entered during the Parade of Nations.
•Friday night's broadcast (8-11:02 p.m.) ranks as the largest audience for a Friday night on any network since NBC's presentation of the 2014 Sochi Olympics opening ceremony (31.7 million viewers, Feb. 7, 2014). In addition, the total audience delivery topped by 6 percent the 2016 Rio opening ceremony (26.7 million TAD). The West Coast primetime telecast is included in metrics. 
NBC Sports Digital Posts Big Numbers Again
NBC Sports Digital's opening ceremony streaming (live at 6 a.m. and simultaneous to the NBC primetime show) on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app delivered an average minute audience of 449,000 viewers - more than double the audience for the Rio opening ceremony (181,000). NBC Sports Digital's full-day streaming total of 64.2 million live stream minutes exceeded the total of 16 of the 17 competition days in Sochi.
The Sochi opening ceremony was not streamed.
NBC Olympics has made available the full, unedited world feed of the opening ceremony of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games for viewing anytime on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.
Opening Ceremony Lead-In Boosts 'Tonight Show'
Friday night's "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" delivered an 18 percent increase in total viewers versus the night of the Rio opening ceremony - averaging 4.662 million persons versus 3.943 million on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016, during the Rio Games.
It also marked "Tonight's" most-watched regularly scheduled edition since Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 (5.016 million, following a primetime NFL Thanksgiving game), and most-watched Friday telecast in three years, since Feb. 20, 2015 (4.814 million, following an encore of the "SNL 40th Anniversary" special in primetime). Versus "Tonight's" season average for originals, Friday's telecast was up 79 percent in total viewers (4.622 million vs. 2.599 million).

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