2012 Olympics: NBC Starts with Best Overnight Rating for Non-U.S. Opening Ceremony

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London's best played large in American homes Friday night as NBC's coverage of the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics scored the top overnight rating for a Games outside the U.S.

NBC's July 27 taped telecast from 8 p.m. to midnight (ET) averaged a 23.0 overnight and a 40 share, according to Nielsen data. That was the best-ever for an Olympic opening ceremony held outside the States and surpassed the 21.5 rating/37 share for the event at the 2008 Beijing Games by 7%.
When measured on a full national rating, NBC averaged 34.9 million viewers for the Beijing opening ceremony in 2008. National figures for the July 27 telecast will be released later on Saturday.

Flying Poppins at London Opening Ceremony

The London opening ceremony's delivery was 10% higher than the 21.0/34 CBS registered for the bow of the tabloid-tinged 1994 Winter Games from Lillehammer, Norway and 15% greater than the 20.0/33 NBC averaged from Vancouver in 2010.
Historically speaking, Friday night's opening ceremony ranked behind the U.S. Games trio of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984(29.5/55 on ABC), the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City (27.9/43 on NBC) and the 1996 Summer Games from Atlanta (27.2/47 in NBC).


Non-U.S. Opening Ceremony Overnight Ratings:
1. London - 2012 23.0/40 NBC
2. Beijing - 2008 21.5/37 NBC
3. Lillehammer - 1994 21.0/34 CBS
4. Vancouver - 2010 20.0/33 NBC
5. Nagano - 1998 18.6/30 CBS
6. Sydney - 2000 18.5/32 NBC
7. Seoul - 1988 18.3/33 NBC
8. Athens - 2004 18.0/30 NBC
9. Sarajevo - 1984 17.2/27 ABC
10. Calgary - 1988 17.0/40 ABC
11. Barcelona - 1992 16.5/32 NBC
12. Albertville - 1992 16.0/26 CBS
13. Torino - 2006 14.7/23 NBC 

Opening Ceremony Overnight Ratings For U.S. Games:
1. Los Angeles - 1984 29.5/55 ABC
2. Salt Lake City - 2002 27.9/43 NBC
3. Atlanta - 1996 27.2/47 NBC

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 24.0/40
T18. Austin 23.9/44
T18. Ft. Myers 23.9/44
20. Portland 23.8/48

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