2012 Olympics: NBCU Networks Tally 189M Viewers over First Eight Days from London8/04/2012 6:00 PM Eastern
Although NBC scored its smallest primetime audience from the London Games on Friday, the network continued its record Nielsen run and is now pushing toward becoming the most-watched TV event in U.S. history.
The August 3 telecast, featuring Michael Phelps' 21st career Olympic medal, a gold in the 100 meter butterfly in the final individual competition in his career, Missy Franklin winning the 200 meter backstroke, and 15-year-old Katie Ledecky atop the medal stand in the 800 meter freestyle, averaged 28.5 million viewers, up 9% from the comparable night during the 2008 Beijing Games (26.1 million) and 20% from the comparable night in Athens in 2004. (23.7 million), the last European Summer Olympics.
Friday night's primetime coverage on NBC from 8:30-11:09 p.m. (ET/PT) scored a 16.2/29 national rating/share, 5% higher than the comparable night in Beijing (15.4/28), and 13% above the corresponding night in Athens in 2004 (14.4/27).
NBCUniversal officials said that with the performance, London became the first Olympics to draw at least 28.5 million viewers on its first eight nights since the Summer Games were first televised from Rome by CBS in 1960.
The Peacock averaged 34.5 million viewers over the first eight nights from London, the best for any non-U.S. Summer Games since ABC with the Montreal Games in 1976. The eight-night average household rating of 19.2/32 is the best for any non-U.S. Summer Olympics since 1976 and 10% higher than Beijing (17.4/30), and 20% greater than Athens (16.0/28).
On the reach beat, the networks of NBCU have tallied 189 million people who have watched some portion of the London Games, according to Nielsen. That's 4 million more than at the same stage of the Beijing Olympics, the most-watched event in U.S. television history with 215 million viewers.