Bolt jolt: Olympics viewership rises again
Sprinter's historic win boosts network to 31.3 million total viewers
August 7, 2012
After seeing its first night of viewership declines for the London Games on Saturday, NBC got back on track Sunday night.
The network drew 31.3 million total viewers from 7:30 p.m. to 11:29 p.m., according to Nielsen, up 15 percent from the same night in Beijing four years ago.
The network also jumped 20 percent over the 2004 Athens Games. Neither of those Olympics broke 30 million.
It marked the seventh time that NBC has drawn at least 30 million during this Games, and the ninth time in 10 nights that viewership was up versus Beijing.
NBC also averaged a 17.5 household rating and 29 share for the night, up 9 percent over Beijing.
Sunday's coverage included the highly anticipated men's 100-meter dash, won by Usain Bolt in Olympic-record time.
Through the first 10 days of coverage, NBC is averaging 33.6 million viewers and an 18.8/32 in households, continuing on pace to become the most-watched non-U.S.-hosted Summer Games since Montreal in 1976.
In terms of what markets are most interested in the Games, the Mountain time zone is drawing far and away the best ratings.
Through 10 days, the Mountain zone has averaged a 22.0/38, with Pacific, the No. 2 region, at 20.4/29.
Central is third at 20.2/34 and Eastern fourth at 19.3/33.
Salt Lake City, which is in the Mountain time zone, is the country's No. 1 market so far with an average 26.8/47. Another Mountain time zone, Denver, is also in the top five (No. 4).
Game ratings are second-best in Milwaukee with a 24.7/41 average and third in Kansas City at 24.4/41.
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