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Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremonies Average 32.6 Million Viewers

According to time-zone adjusted numbers from Nielsen, the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games averaged 32.6 million viewers (it averaged a 9.4 A18-49 rating in the fast affiliate numbers) last night on NBC.  That was an impressive increase of 47% from the 2006 games in Torino (22.17M viewers and a 6.5 A18-49 rating).

This was the most-watched opening ceremony ever for a non-U.S. Winter Olympics. NBC also says that the ceremony had a tune of 67.5 million viewers (those watching an average of 6 minutes), more than the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer.   Head over the jump to see the complete press release.


67.5 Million Viewers Watched Opening Ceremony on NBC; 17 Million More than Torino and Nearly 6 Million More Than Tabloid-Fueled Lillehammer Games in ‘94

32.6 Million Average Audience is 47% Higher than Torino

VANCOUVER -February 13, 2010 – In the half-century of televised Olympics, NBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony from Vancouver was the MOST WATCHED EVER for a non-U.S. Winter Olympics with 67.5 million total viewers, 17 million more than Torino in 2006 (50.2 million) and six million more than the tabloid-fueled 1994 Lillehammer Games (61.7 million) which stood for 16 years as the most-watched Opening Ceremony for a non-U.S. Games.

The Opening Ceremony on NBC averaged 32.6 million viewers, more than 10 million more and 47 percent higher than Torino (22.2 million) and earned a 17.3/30 national rating for an increase of 35 percent over Torino in 2006 (12.8/21).

The 32.6 million average viewers is the most for a non-U.S. Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in 16 years – just below the 33.8 million for the tabloid-fueled Lillehammer Games in 1994. The 17.3/30 national household rating is also the best for a non-U.S. Winter Games since Lillehammer.

The Washington Post said that “the Winter Games got off to a splendiferous start with the Opening Ceremony – with images that rivaled that of ‘Avatar.’ — All of it was rendered splendid by NBC’s HD cameras and enhanced by discreet commentary from the anchors.”


1. VANCOUVER – 2010 – 67.5 Million

2. *Lillehammer – 1994 – 62.0 million

3. Nagano – 1998 – 52.4 million

4. Torino – 2006 – 50.2 million

5. Albertville – 1992 – 46.7 million

*Fueled by the tabloid coverage of the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandal.

NBCOLYMPICS.COM UP 469% FROM TORINO: NBC’s Olympics website,, registered 4.8 million unique users for Day 1 of the Vancouver Games, 469 percent higher than the Day 1 of the last Winter Games in Torino in 2006 (861k)

· The site also delivered 1.9 million video streams – 836% more than Torino’s first day (201K).

NBC OLYMPICS MOBILE APP IS NO. 1 ON ITUNES: NBC Olympics Mobile app, the No. 1 free app in the iTunes store, generated more two million page views yesterday.


Mountain Time Zone 21.2/36

Pacific Time Zone 19.8/36

Eastern Time Zone 18.9/31

Central Time Zone 18.6/30


1. Seattle, 25.9/47

2. Milwaukee, 25.8/43

3. Denver, 25.4/44

4. St. Louis, 23.7/40

5. West Palm Beach, 23.3/35

6. Cleveland, 23.1/38

7. Salt Lake City, 22.3/39

8. Columbus, 21.8/37

9. Ft. Myers, 21.4/ 34

10. Detroit, 21.1/34

11. Portland, 21.1/39

12. Providence, 21.0/36

T13. Richmond, 20.9/33

T13. Baltimore, 20.9/32

15. Sacramento, 20.6/38

16. San Francisco, 20.3/39

T17. Boston, 20.2/36

T17. Indianapolis, 20.2/34

T17. Nashville, 20.2/30

T20. Chicago, 20.1/33

T20. Buffalo, 20.1/33

NBC Universal, broadcasting its record 12th Olympics the most Olympics broadcast by any network, will present more than 835 hours of Vancouver Olympic Winter Games coverage – representing the most total hours ever for a Winter Olympics, more than the last two Winter Olympics combined, and the most live hours ever for a Winter Games. The Vancouver Games are the first Winter Olympics to be presented entirely in high definition.

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