NBCU’s Olympics Juggernaut Winds to a Close


Through 13 days, NBC Universal’s coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing drew more than 206 million viewers, making it the second-most-viewed television event in U.S. history, trailing only the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics by just 3 million total viewers.

The 206 million total viewers are 13 million more than watched the first 13 days of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and 2 million more than those who watched the entirety of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. NBCU’s multi-channel coverage of the games has reached more than 85% of U.S. households, the network said Thursday.

The Beijing Olympic 13-day average primetime viewership is 29.0 million, 12 percent ahead of Athens in 2004 (26.0 million). NBC’s average of a 16.9 rating, 29 share in households is the best through the second Wednesday for a Summer Olympics outside the U.S. since Barcelona in 1992 (17.9/34) and is a 7% jump from Athens in 2004 (15.8/27).

In primetime, NBC's Beijing Games has won all 79-rated half-hours against its entire network competition.

Also, NBCOlympics.com has recorded more than 1 billion page views, nearly double the 561.1 million page views it garnered for the 2004 Athens and 2006 Torino games combined.

Visitors have downloaded more than 60.8 million video streams, a nearly six-fold increase from the 10.8 million streams accessed during the Athens and Torino games combined.