The Nielsen tally shows NBC Universal’s coverage of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics attracted an average of 27.7 million viewers and scored a 16.2 rating and 28 share. That audience figure is up 13% from the Athens games in 2004 and the ratings are the best for a non-US Olympics since the 1976 games in Montreal.
"This audience record is something I thought I’d never see again, but what really satisfied me is the way in which these Olympics truly captivated and seemed to inspire our country," said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics and Executive Producer of NBC Universal’s Beijing Olympics coverage.
"For me, the greatest measure of success at an Olympics is the number of messages I receive from parents of young kids who have fallen in love with the Olympics. That child means more to me than anything because I think a love affair with the Olympics is the greatest in all of sports. It’s a privilege to have this job because it’s one of the few ways in which you can still reach families and children in a meaningful way. If you produce it the right way, the entire family will watch together," Ebersol said.
If you’re into numbers, NBC Universal has supplied plenty:
MOST VIEWED EVENTS IN U.S. TV HISTORY:
1. 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, 211* million (16 days)
2. 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, 209 million (17 days)
3. 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics, 204 million (16 days)
4. 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, 203 million (17 days)
5. 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics, 194 million (17 days)
*Final tally not yet in for 17 days
VIEWERS AND RATING BOTH UP SIGNIFICANTLY FROM ATHENS:
· The Beijing Olympics 17-day average primetime viewership is 27.7 million, 13 percent ahead of Athens in 2004 (24.6 million) and is the best primetime average viewership for a complete Olympics outside the U.S since Montreal in 1976.
· NBC’s average of a 16.2 rating, 28 share in households is an eight percent increase over Athens in 2004 (15.0/26) and the best rating for a Summer Olympics outside the U.S. since Barcelona in 1992 (17.1/33).
CLOSING CEREMONY BEST NON U.S. RATING SINCE 1976:
· Sunday’s Closing Ceremony garnered 27.2 million average viewers, a 39 percent gain from the Closing Ceremony night in Athens (19.6 million). The night earned a 15.2 rating/24 share, a 28 percent increase from Athens (11.9/20). In both categories, the Closing Ceremony from Beijing was the best delivery for a Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony outside the U.S. since Montreal in 1976.
OLYMPICS IN PRIMETIME DOMINATE COMPETITION:
· In primetime, NBC’s Beijing Games has won all 100-rated half-hours against its entire network competition.
NBCOLYMPICS.COM ON MSN POSTS RECORD NUMBERS:
For the complete Beijing Games, NBCOlympics.com has more than doubled the combined totals for the Athens and Torino Games in page views and unique users, while increasing videos streamed by more than seven times.
· VIDEO STREAMS: 75.5 million for Beijing, 10.8 million for Athens and Torino Games combined (+601%)
· UNIQUE USERS: 51.9 million for Beijing, 25.2 million for Athens and Torino Games combined (+106%)
· PAGE VIEWS: 1.24 billion for Beijing, 561.1 million for Athens and Torino Games combined (+122%)
· HOUR OF VIDEO STREAMED: 9.9 million hours of video consumed through for Beijing Games is the equivalent of 1,126 years of video.
TOP 10 METERED MARKETS FOR BEIJING GAMES:
1 (tie). Denver 23.1/40
1 (tie). Salt Lake City 23.1/45
3. Minneapolis 22.1/41
4 (tie). Indianapolis 21.3/37
4 (tie). San Diego 21.3/39
6 (tie). Baltimore 21.1/35
6 (tie). Oklahoma City 21.1/33
8. Nashville 21.0/33
9. Columbus, Ohio 20.4/35
10. Portland, Ore. 20.2/41
RBR/TVBR observation: To no one’s surprise, NBC won the past week in the ratings, as detailed elsewhere in this issue. The Olympics are always a good show, but the Peacock deserves to strut even more than usual this year. If we had cards with “10” on them we would be holding them high. The timing was great, the events exciting, the drama was real. It all came together and produced great television. Sure, there was some luck involved. For example, the weather was mostly good. But the years of prep work also paid off.