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Total US Television Audience for Opening Ceremonies Almost 70 Million

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August 9th, 2008

Wow. Almost 70 million people watched at least part of last night's Olympics opening ceremonies in the United States. That's about one out of four people over the age of 2.

The 35 million number reported for last night's primetime portion represented average viewing, but NBC and Nielsen are now reporting total viewership who watched at least part of the ceremonies of 69.9 million. 

Below, via NBC press release are still more stats.  Keep in mind that the Atlanta games in 1996 had more total viewers (77 million) and though total viewing measurements didn't didn't exist for the 1984, the Los Angeles games had a higher average viewing and higher rating than these games, but for a non U.S. opening, Beijings numbers were the best ever.

NON-U.S. OPENING CEREMONY TOTAL AUDIENCE:
1) Beijing – 2008 - 69.9 million
T2) Athens – 2004 - 56.0 million
T2) Sydney – 2000 - 56.0 million
4) Seoul – 1988 - 51.2 million
5) Barcelona – 1992 - 50.2 million

-Opening Ceremony in Atlanta had a total viewership of 77.0 million; Total viewership data did not exist for Los Angeles in 1984

NON-U.S. OPENING CEREMONY AVERAGE AUDIENCE:
1) Beijing – 2008 - 34.2 million
2) Sydney – 2000 - 27.3 million
3) Athens – 2004 - 25.4 million
4) Seoul – 1988 - 22.7 million
5) Barcelona – 1992 - 21.6 million

-Opening Ceremony in Atlanta had an average viewership of 39.8 million; Average viewership data did not exist for Los Angeles in 1984

NON-U.S. OPENING CEREMONY NATIONAL RATINGS:
1) Beijing – 2008 - 18.6/33
2) Rome – 1960 - 18.1/36
3) Sydney – 2000 - 16.2/29
4) Seoul – 1988 - 15.2/29
5) Athens – 2004 - 14.6/27
6) Barcelona – 1992 - 13.8/29

Though I made some fun of the Internet, it's pulling much better numbers than last time around too (though nowhere near TV style numbers, the growth is significant:

NBCOLYMPICS.COM OFF TO RECORD START:
NBCOlympics.com garnered 70 million page views on 8/8/08 an increase of 900 percent and 10 times more than the opening day of the Athens Games in 2004 (7 million).

·The 70 million page views are nearly 50 million more page views than the peak day in Athens (Day 4, 20.6 million).

·NBCOlympics.com's 4.2 million unique users show an increase of 496% over the unique users for the opening day of the Athens Games in 2004 (705,000).

·Since August 1, 2008, NBCOlympics.com has accumulated more than 127 million page views, nearly half the TOTAL for the entire Athens Games.

·Viewers can relive the excitement of the Opening Ceremony now at NBCOlympics.com.

 
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