2008 Beijing Olympics Most Viewed Event In US TV History

By Kelly West 2008-08-25 00:30:22 discussion comments
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There isn’t much I can say about the Closing Ceremony of the Olympics other than “wow.” Loved the fireworks. Loved the transforming double-decker bus and if someone told me that whole portion of the ceremony with that tower and the people crawling and running all over it was animated or somehow a trick (or some secret Chinese magic), I’d probably believe them. Truly amazing.

The 2008 Beijing Olympics came to a close tonight and now that all of the medals have been distributed, NBC tallied up the ratings, which were very good. As it turns out, the 2008 Beijing Olympics was the most watched TV event in U.S. history.

NBC listed the top five most viewed TV events in U.S. history and they are as follows:

1. *2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, 211 million (*through 16 days)

2. 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, 209 million (17 days)

3. 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics, 204 million (16 days)

4 . 2004 Athens Summer Olympics, 203 million (17 days)

5. 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics, 194 million (17 days)

According to NBC, “Through 16 days, NBC Universal's Beijing Olympic coverage has reached 211 million viewers and has been viewed by more Americans than any event in U.S. television history, according to data provided by Nielsen Media Research. The Beijing Games have surpassed the 1996 Atlanta Games, which were viewed by 209 million Americans”. As this is all about ratings, there’s no mention of the number of hits NBCOlympics.com received but I’m sure there were plenty of people (myself included) who checked out some of the events via the website in addition to the millions who watched them on television.

I have to say, I watched a lot more of the Olympics than I expected to. I think part of that was attributed to watching the Opening Ceremony, which was the only Olympic event I had planned to watch. It was impossible not to be excited about the Olympics after the show China put on.
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