NBC Olympics Reach 207 Million in U.S. Through 14 Days

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August 22nd, 2008

The Beijing Olympics now trail the 1996 Atlanta Games -- the most viewed event in television history -- by a mere two million. With three days to go, including today, the Beijing games seem to be on track to surpass 209 million people and make some ratings history. While there certainly aren't many programs/events to showcase it, let there be no doubt: TV ain't dead yet.

Here's the latest via NBC:


84 Million Watch on NBC Universal's Cable Nets

85% of All U.S. TV Households Have Tuned In

BEIJING -Aug. 23, 2008 -Through just 14 days, NBC Universal's Beijing Olympic coverage has reached 207 million viewers just two million below the 17-day total for the Atlanta Games, the most viewed event in U.S. television history according to data provided by Nielsen Media Research. The 207 million viewers are 11 million more than the first 14 days for Athens (196 million) and 5 million more than the Atlanta Games (202 million). NBCU's cable networks through 14 days have already reached 84 million, surpassing the 17-day viewership total for any previous Olympics.


1. 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, 209 million (17 days)
2. *2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, 207 million (*through 14 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)

  • The Beijing Olympic 14-day average primetime viewership is 28.6 million, 11 percent ahead of Athens in 2004 (25.7 million). NBC's average of a 16.8 rating, 29 share in households is the best through the second Thursday for a Summer Olympics outside the U.S. since Barcelona in 1992 (17.8/34) and is an eight percent jump from Athens in 2004 (15.6/27).
  • Thursday night garnered 58 million total viewers in primetime and 22.4 million average viewers, a four percent gain from the comparable night in Athens (21.5 million). The night earned a 13.8 rating/23 share, equal to the comparable night in Athens.


Through 14 days, 84 million have watched the coverage on NBC Universal's cable networks, a 29 percent gain from the first 14 days of the Athens Games (65 million) and more than the 17-day total viewership for any previous Olympics (Athens, 68.6 million).

TAMi FOR WEDNESDAY: The TAMi (Total Audience Measurement Index) measures the 3600 hours of programming during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, including Television (P2+ reach), Online (Unique Users), Mobile (WAP unique users and Mobile VOD unique users) and TV VOD (unique users). Below is the TAMi measurement through Wednesday, Aug. 20:

Wednesday, Aug. 20 91.1 million

TV: 84.5 million, ONLINE: 6.2 million, MOBILE: 426k, TV VOD: n/a

  • Tuesday, Aug. 19 95.4 million
  • Monday, Aug. 18: 94.4 million
  • Sunday, Aug. 17: 107.4 million
  • Saturday, Aug. 16: 108.0 million
  • Friday, Aug. 15: 95.1 million
  • Thursday, Aug. 14: 101.6 million
  • Wednesday, Aug. 13: 101.0 million
  • Tuesday, Aug. 12: 105.1 million
  • Monday, Aug. 11: 103.1 million
  • Sunday, Aug. 10: 113.1 million
  • Saturday, Aug. 9: 97.8 million
  • Friday, Aug. 8: 74.6 million

*A complete TAMi through Aug. 20 is available at NBC Media Village at www.nbcumv.com. Click TAMi graphic on right side of the page.

NBC Universal, broadcasting its record 11th Olympics and surpassing ABC for the most Olympics broadcast by any network, is presenting an unprecedented 3,600 hours of Beijing Olympic Games coverage, the most ambitious single media project in history featuring the most live coverage (nearly 2,900 live hours in total), across the most platforms, of any Summer Olympics in history.

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