2012 Olympics: NBC Delivers Most-Watched Summer Games Opening Ceremony Ever

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NBC is wearing Nielsen gold after delivering the most-watched opening ceremony in Summer Games history.
The Peacock's July 27 taped coverage of Danny Boyle's $42.3 million "Isles of Wonder" extravaganza from 8 p.m. to 12:02 (ET/PT) notched a 21.0 national rating, 37 share and averaged 40.7 million watchers, according to Nielsen data. That delivery eased past the 39.8 million viewers who NBC's presentation of the opening ceremony of the Atlanta Games in 1996.
Friday's night telecast was 17% greater than the 34.9 million average audience for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and was 60% more than the 25.4 million for the 2004 Athens Games.
On the ratings side, the London opener's 21 rating outpaced Beijing's 18.8/34 share and Athens' 14.6/27 by 12% and 44%, respectively, according to Nielsen.
Moreover, last night was the highest-rated Friday night on any network since the opening ceremony of the Salt Lake City Games generated a 25.2 mark on Feb. 8, 2002.
"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," said NBC Sports Group president Mark Lazarus in a statement. "We look forward to the next 16 nights of compelling Olympic competition."

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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