Games on pace for viewership record
NBC averages 31.6 million total viewers in primetime
August 1, 2012
NBC's London Olympics coverage is now four for four, as in four nights of increased ratings over 2008.
Monday night's primetime coverage, including the men's gymnastics team finals and Missy Franklin's 100-meter backstroke victory, averaged 31.6 million total viewers from 8 p.m. to 11:23 p.m., according to Nielsen.
That was 4 percent more than night four in Beijing, which averaged 30.2 million viewers four years ago.
It was the most-watched first Monday of a non-U.S.-hosted Summer Olympics since 1976, and it marked the fourth straight night that the games drew 31 million viewers or more.
Through the first four nights, NBC's coverage is averaging 34.8 million total viewers, the best for any Summer Games in history. It's even slightly ahead of the 1996 Games in Atlanta, which averaged 34.5 million in the first four nights.
This year's Games are pacing 4.3 million ahead of Beijing and 10.1 million ahead of the 2004 Games in Athens.
The strong start evidently has boosted NBC's confidence in meeting the ratings guaranteed beforehand to advertisers.
The network has opened up for sale some commercial inventory it had been holding back for makegoods later in the Games just in case the ratings did not hit the promised goal, according to a report from Sports Business Journal.
Initial ratings reports for Monday night had suggested that NBC might see its first Games-to-Games decline, with overnight ratings slightly below the Beijing average.
But that proved untrue when final numbers came out.
NBC is seeing big gains in other dayparts as well. The noon to 5 p.m. slot averaged 9 million viewers Monday, up 34 percent over Athens eight years ago (there was no comparable window for Beijing).
The 10 a.m. to noon daypart averaged 7 million viewers Monday, up 9 percent over Beijing. And late-night (12:35 a.m. to 1:23 a.m.) was up 25 percent, to 6.4 million.
Tags: Beijing, london olympics, missy franklin, nbc, nbc olympics, olympic ratings, olympic viewership, primetime, ratings, ratings olympics, Sports Business Journal, sports tv, summer games, summer olympics, viewers, viewership olympics
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