NBC's average rating up 14% over Beijing for first night of competition

NBC’s first night of Olympic competition from London was the most-watched Summer Olympics opening night on record, drawing 28.7 million viewers, which topped the first night from Atlanta in 1996 by more than 2 million, on a night that featured American Ryan Lochte winning a gold medal in a tape-delayed broadcast of the 400 IM.

Saturday night registered a 15.8 average rating and a 29 share. The average rating was 14 percent higher than Beijing (13.9) in 2008 and 34 percent higher than Athens (11.8) in 2004, and the best for any non-U.S. Summer Olympics ever. The network’s two-day prime-time average of 35.6 million viewers also is the best start to a Summer Olympics on record (see chart, below).

AVERAGE VIEWERS FOR FIRST NIGHT OF COMPETITION*


1. London/2012— 28.7 million
2. Atlanta/1996 — 26.3 million
3. Beijing ­/2008— 24.0 million
4. Seoul/1988 — 23.8 million
5. Barcelona ­/1992— 21.6 million
5. Sydney ­/2000— 21.0 million
6. Athens ­/2004— 19.8 million

TOP 20 METERED MARKETS FOR FIRST NIGHT OF COMPETITION

1. Salt Lake City— 23.9/46
2. San Diego— 22.8/43
3. Kansas City— 22.4/42
4. Columbus— 21.5/39
5. Fort Myers, Fla.— 21.3/40
6. Milwaukee— 20.6/38
7. Denver— 20.5/44
8. Indianapolis— 20.4/39
9. Sacramento— 20.2/41
10. Nashville— 19.6/34
11. Oklahoma City— 19.2/32
12. St. Louis— 18.9/35
13. Richmond, Va.— 18.7/33
14. Portland— 18.5/41
15 (tie). San Francisco— 18.4/40
15 (tie). Boston— 18.4/36
17 (tie).  Norfolk, Va.— 18.3/30
17 (tie). Albuquerque, N.M.— 18.3/34
17 (tie). Jacksonville — 18.3/31
20. Phoenix— 18.1/32

* All of them on NBC
Source: NBC Universal Sports

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