Led by NBC Sports Network, NBCUniversal's cable cumulative audience grew significantly during the London Olympics.
Together, NBC Sports Network, Bravo, CNBC and MSNBC reached more than 82.4 million viewers, 160% more than the 31.7 million than the quartet of NBCU networks reached during comparable time periods a year ago.
Olympic coverage from London on the cable nets averaged 716,000 average viewers, up 2% from the Beijing Games -- top-ranked USA Network was on the roster four years ago in lieu of the national cable sports networks -- through the same period, and up 34% from Athens.
With a strong focus on U.S. team competition, NBC Sports Network -- which aired some 293 hours, the most for any cable network in history -- set multiple viewership records during the London Games, including the six most-watched days in its history and 11 out of 12.
The network delivered its most-watched event to date with 4.35 million viewers for its coverage of the U.S. women's triumph over Japan in the gold-medal soccer match on Aug. 9.
Coverage of the U.S. men's gold-winning basketball squad averaged 2.63 million, including a high of 3.33 million viewers for its win over Argentina in the group stage game on Aug. 6.
During the Olympics, NBCSN ranked as the fifth most-watched cable network behind Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Fox News Channel during its 6 a.m-8 p.m. time period and first among persons18 to 49 and adults 25 to 54, according to Nielsen data.
Through Aug. 9, the London Olympics drew 48.9 million viewers who had watched some portion of the Games, making it the most-watched event ever on NBCSN.
CNBC, the home of Olympic boxing, averaged 449,000 viewers during its 5 p.m-8 p.m.( ET) window, the financial network's best weeks in the time period since the week of Feb 22, 2010, when it presented action from the Vancouver Olympics.
Bravo, the home of Olympic tennis from the grounds at Wimbledon, netted a 0.36 household rating and a 484,000 viewer average throughout its coverage from London. Measured against comparable dayparts the prior four weeks, Bravo's tennis coverage was up 107% in household ratings and 124% among total viewers, said NBCU officials.
During the London Olympics, MSNBC had two days with more than 1 million viewers, the first time it hit that plateau in its coverage of four Summer Games: 1.13 million watchers on Saturday July 28 and 1.07 million the following day. MSNBC's top day from Beijing came on Aug. 13, 2008, with 951,000.