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2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in Beijing Draws Record 34.2 Million Viewers

NBC’s coverage of the 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in Beijing was the most-watched ever for a non-U.S. Summer Olympic Opening ceremony, averaging an 18.6/33 national rating/share and 34.2 million viewers.  Also, a record 69.9M viewers tuned into at least some portion of the ceremony.  Traffic to the official site NBCOlympics.com is also off to a record start, with the site logging 70 million page views on 8/8/2008, an increase of 900 percent or 10 times more than the opening day of the Athens Games in 2004 (7 million).  And since August 1, 2008, the site has logged more than 127 million page views, nearly half the TOTAL for the entire Athens Games.

The full press release follows after the jump.Here’s the full NBC press release.

70 Million Viewers Saw Opening Ceremony on NBC; 14 Million More than Athens

18.6/33 National Rating is 27% Higher than Athens

BEIJING – August 9, 2008 – In the nearly 50 years of televised Olympics, NBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony in Beijing was the MOST VIEWED EVER for a non-U.S. Summer Olympics with nearly 70 million total viewers, 14 million more than Athens (56 million).

The Opening Ceremony on NBC earned an 18.6/33 national rating for an increase of 27 percent over Athens in 2004 (14.6/27), and averaged 34.2 million viewers, nearly nine million more than Athens (25.4 million). NBC’s Opening Ceremony 18.6/33 household rating is the highest rated Opening Ceremony for a non-domestic Summer Olympics ever, surpassing the 1960 Rome Games on CBS that delivered an 18.1/36, a record that stood for 48 years, according to Nielsen Media Research.

“The Olympic Opening Ceremony captivated the American public in unprecedented numbers for a non-U.S. Olympics,” said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. “It was a magical and memorable spectacle and a great way to start the Beijing Olympics.”

Additionally, NBCOlympics.com saw its most traffic ever on Friday with 70 million page views, 10 times more than the seven million page views on the opening day of the Athens Games.

NON-U.S. OPENING CEREMONY TOTAL AUDIENCE:
1) Beijing – 2008 – 69.9 million
T2) Athens – 2004 – 56.0 million
T2) Sydney – 2000 – 56.0 million
4) Seoul – 1988 – 51.2 million
5) Barcelona – 1992 – 50.2 million

-Opening Ceremony in Atlanta had a total viewership of 77.0 million; Total viewership data did not exist for Los Angeles in 1984

NON-U.S. OPENING CEREMONY AVERAGE AUDIENCE:
1) Beijing – 2008 – 34.2 million
2) Sydney – 2000 – 27.3 million
3) Athens – 2004 – 25.4 million
4) Seoul – 1988 – 22.7 million
5) Barcelona – 1992 – 21.6 million

-Opening Ceremony in Atlanta had an average viewership of 39.8 million; Average viewership data did not exist for Los Angeles in 1984

NON-U.S. OPENING CEREMONY NATIONAL RATINGS:
1) Beijing – 2008 – 18.6/33
2) Rome – 1960 – 18.1/36
3) Sydney – 2000 – 16.2/29
4) Seoul – 1988 – 15.2/29
5) Athens – 2004 – 14.6/27
6) Barcelona – 1992 – 13.8/29

-Opening Ceremony in Atlanta in 1996 earned a 23.6/45; Los Angeles in 1984 earned a 23.9/48

NBCOLYMPICS.COM OFF TO RECORD START:
NBCOlympics.com garnered 70 million page views on 8/8/08 an increase of 900 percent and 10 times more than the opening day of the Athens Games in 2004 (7 million).

·The 70 million page views are nearly 50 million more page views than the peak day in Athens (Day 4, 20.6 million).

·NBCOlympics.com’s 4.2 million unique users show an increase of 496% over the unique users for the opening day of the Athens Games in 2004 (705,000).

·Since August 1, 2008, NBCOlympics.com has accumulated more than 127 million page views, nearly half the TOTAL for the entire Athens Games.

·Viewers can relive the excitement of the Opening Ceremony now at NBCOlympics.com.

NBC Universal, broadcasting its record 11th Olympics and surpassing ABC for the most Olympics broadcast by any network, will present an unprecedented 3,600 hours of Beijing Olympic Games coverage, the most ambitious single media project in history featuring the most live coverage (nearly 2,900 live hours in total), across the most platforms, of any Summer Olympics in history.

Dick Ebersol served as executive producer of NBC’s Opening Ceremony coverage; David Neal, producer; and Bucky Gunts, director.

Source: NBC

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