NBC sees first drop on Saturday, still on pace for record Games
August 5, 2012 04:54 PM
On the same night four years ago, NBC drew 31.6 million viewers to see Michael Phelps win his record eighth gold medal and Dara Torres win a silver in the 50-meter freestyle as a 41-year-old. Those races were shown live and delivered one of the largest audiences of the 2008 Beijing Games.
The 28 million viewers NBC posted Saturday night was its smallest audience of the Games, but it was far larger than the 22.5 million viewers the network drew for the same night of the Athens Games in 2004.
NBC is still on track to deliver the highest-rated, non-U.S. Olympics since the 1976 Montreal Games. Through nine nights of coverage, the network is averaging 33.9 million viewers and an 18.9 rating. Six nights of coverage have drawn more than 30 million viewers, which is more than the five nights that Beijing did that and the two nights that Athens did it.
The network said that 194.7 million viewers have watched the London Games across NBC Universal networks. The total is 3.5 million more than the number it had amassed through the first nine days of the Beijing Games.