Olympics Continue to Score for NBCUniversal

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

August 5th, 2012

via press release:


London Olympics Pacing Ahead of Beijing and Athens in Every Measurement

Through 9 Days Nearly 195 Million People Have Watched the Olympics on the Networks of NBCUniversal

33.9 Million Average Viewership and 18.9 Household Rating for the First 9 Nights of the London Olympics is Most for any Non-U.S. Summer Olympics in 36 Years

Serena Williams-Maria Sharapova Gold Medal Match Draws 7.9 Million Viewers

Mountain Time Zone and Pacific Time Zone are Highest Rated Through 9 Nights

28.0 Million Average Viewership and 15.9 Household Rating Last Night


LONDON – August 5, 2012 – Through the first nine days, the London Olympics has reached 194.7 million total viewers, 33.9 million average primetime viewers and a household rating of 18.9/32, each posting significant gains compared to the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2004 Athens Olympics, the last European Olympics.

  • Through nine days, 194.7 million people have watched the Olympics on the networks of NBCUniversal, 3.5 million more than Beijing (191.2) through the same time period. The 2008 Beijing Games hold the record for the most-watched event in U.S. television history with 215 million viewers. The 194.7 million total viewers is nearly 18 million more than Athens through the same period (176.9 million).
  • Through the first nine nights of the London Olympics, NBC is averaging 33.9 million viewers, the most of any non-U.S. Summer Olympics since the 1976 Montreal Olympics. The 33.9 million is 3.7 million more viewers than Beijing (30.2 million) and 7.7 million more than Athens (26.2 million).
  • The nine-night average household rating of 18.9/32 is the best for any non-U.S. Summer Olympics since the 1976 Montreal Olympics. The 18.9/32 is 9% higher than the first nine nights from Beijing (17.4/30), and 20% higher than the first nine nights from Athens (15.8/28), the last European Summer Olympics.
  • Additionally, six nights of the London Olympics have drawn more than 30 million viewers, more than the entire 2008 Beijing Olympics (5) or 2004 Athens Olympics (2).

# # #



Last night’s coverage, which featured Michael Phelps’ 22nd career Olympic medal (gold in the 4x100 IM), drew 28.0 million viewers, up 24% from the comparable night at the Athens Olympics (22.5 million). While the viewership is off from the comparable night in Beijing (31.6 million), that night included live coverage of Michael Phelps winning his record eighth gold medal of the Beijing Games, and Dara Torres, at age 41 winning a silver medal in the 50m freestyle. In addition, that night in Beijing featured Usain Bolt’s record-setting gold medal in the 100m.

Last night’s primetime coverage on NBC (8:30-11:15 p.m. ET/PT) earned a 15.9/26 national rating/share, 17% higher than the comparable night at the Athens Olympics (13.6/28), the last European Olympics, but down from the comparable night in Beijing (17.8/32), the fourth highest-rated night of competition for those Games.


NBC’s daytime show, which aired live across the country yesterday, featured live coverage of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova playing for Olympic gold at Wimbledon as well as Team USA’s men’s volleyball vs. Russia, Team USA’s men’s water polo vs. Serbia and the men’s 10,000m gold medal final.

  • The Noon-6 p.m. ET window drew 12.6 million viewers an increase of 13% compared to the second Saturday morning at the Beijing Games (11.2 million). The household rating of 8.2/21 is 9% higher than the comparable afternoon from Beijing (7.5/20).
  • 10 a.m.-Noon ET averaged 11.0 million viewers, an increase of 26% versus the second Saturday morning at the Beijing Games (8.7 million). The household rating in this time period (7.4/22) is 21% higher than the comparable morning from Beijing (6.1/18).
  • The early-morning window (9-10 a.m. ET) drew 7.0 million viewers and had a household rating of 5.0/17. There is no comparable data from the Beijing Games for this time period.
  • During the live Williams-Sharapova gold medal match (9-10:30 a.m. ET), which took place on Centre Court at Wimbledon with Williams winning 6-0, 6-1, NBC drew 7.9 million viewers and had a household rating of 5.6/18.
  • The late night program (12:33-1:22 a.m. ET/PT) drew 7.2 million viewers and a household rating of 4.8/15, an increase of 7% and 2%, respectively vs. Beijing


Mountain 22.4/39
Pacific 20.7/39
Central 20.5/35
Eastern 19.4/33


1. Salt Lake City 27.0/48
2. Milwaukee 25.0/42
3. Kansas City 24.7/41
4. Denver 24.3/46
T5. Columbus, OH 23.8/40
T5. Norfolk 23.8/37
T7. Indianapolis 23.3/40
T7. San Diego 23.3/41
9. Richmond 22.4/36
10. West Palm Beach 22.3/37
11. Albuquerque-Santa Fe 22.1/37
12. Minneapolis-St. Paul 22.0/42
13. Washington 21.8/40
T14. St. Louis 21.4/36
T14. Portland, OR 21.4/44
T14. Nashville 21.4/33
T14. Austin, TX 21.4/39
T14. Ft. Myers-Naples 21.4/38
19. Oklahoma City 21.3/34
20. Sacramento-Stockton 21.2/39

NBCUniversal, presenting its 13th Olympics, the most by any U.S. media company, will make an unprecedented 5,535 hours of the 2012 London Olympics coverage available across NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, NBCOlympics.com, two specialty channels, and the first-ever 3D platform, an unprecedented level that surpasses the coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics by nearly 2,000 hours.

For the full schedule of NBCUniversal’s Olympic coverage, please go to: NBCOlympics.com

For press information, bios, photos and releases, please go to: NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com


  • Jon Haven

    NBC renews Olympics for next season. ;)

  • DryedMangoez

    So, more people watch in the West where everything has been spoiled by the internets a few more hours than the East.

    NBC still making the wrong decision with their primetime coverage?

  • Vegas

    Does anyone have any theories as to why the olympics are getting such big ratings this time? Even over Beijing or athens, even more so now, people can watch or find out results before they appear on prime time. Shouldn’t that make people less likely to watch in prime time? I enjoy the Olympics though, so I’m glad they are doing well.

  • Tyson

    I like to know what has happened so I can concentrate on the events without being surprised. I can watch McKayla Maroney’s vault, for example, knowing she fell rather than be too stunned to register what happened.

  • john conners

    i am skeptical of these ratings…. I have watched very little of the Olympic coverate on Nothing Butt Clowns NBC . They screwed the programming up from the beginning and I tuned out. Next two Olympics on the Clown Network. EWWWWWWWWW. Thank god for BBC and the Internet. Wtf is wrong with the Today Show producer. The Toad has lost his mind. Ryan Secrest…the Nose….Lurch….Fat Albert… Why would anyone in their right mind send this collection of morons to cover the Olympics ? Thank god for GMA. I see why so many NBC News people have moved to ABC. Nothing Butt Clowns is un-watchable.

  • K.M.Bani

    So Maria Sharapova got beaten severely by Serena Williams before soooo many people! THAT was a public whopping!

  • Yazee

    It’s still better to watch on TV than it is online. Online freezes too much unless you have a high powered fast computer, the only good solution is for people to have access illegally to channels like CTV and BBC.

    I don’t have a problem with NBC to go to the extremes.

  • Chris


    The reason why the Olympics have been so highly rated is largely because sports are DVR-proof and because people aren’t as likely to watch on the internet beforehand, they’re going to want to wait and see the result on television. Trust me, I’ve tried streaming sports online before with ESPN3.com and the video quality is a bit messy. Same with the video quality of NBCOlympics.com. It’s a reason viewership for general primetime shows has declined over the past five or six years. Just look at the 111.3 million who watched Super Bowl XLVI back in February — the highest rated program in United States television history. It’s a reason sports are going to be extremely vital to networks’ success in the future.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures