London 2012 Olympics, 2008 Beijing Games
Each night of the 2012 London Olympics to date have drawn higher viewership and household ratings than the first seven nights of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2004 Athens Olympics, the last European Summer Olympics, according to official national data provided by The Nielsen Company.
Last night's coverage, which featured Gabby Douglas winning the gold medal in the women's gymnastics all-around and Michael Phelps outdueling Ryan Lochte in the 200m IM to earn his record 20th career Olympic medal, drew 36.8 million viewers, the most-watched first Thursday of any non-U.S. Summer Olympics in 36 years (Montreal 1976).
· The average viewership of 36.8 million is 7.1 million (+24%) more than the first Thursday of the Beijing Olympics (29.7 million viewers), and 5.1 million (+16%) more than the first Thursday of the Athens Olympics (31.7 million viewers).
· To date, six nights of the London Olympics have drawn more than 30 million viewers, more than the entire Beijing (5) or Athens (2) Olympics.
· Last night's Olympic broadcast was the most-watched Thursday telecast on ANY network since the Friends series finale on May 6, 2004.
Through the first Thursday of the London Olympics, NBC is averaging 35.1 million viewers, the most of any non-U.S. Summer Olympics since the 1976 Montreal Olympics. The 35.1 million is 4.5 million more viewers than Beijing (30.6 million) and 8.1 million more than Athens (27.0 million).
Last night's primetime coverage on NBC (8-Midnight ET/PT) earned a 21.1/36 national rating/share, 18 percent higher than the first Thursday night of the Beijing Olympics (17.9/31), and nine percent higher than the first Thursday night in Athens in 2004 (19.3/32), the last European Summer Olympics.
· The seven-night average household rating of 19.5/33 is the highest for any non-U.S. Summer Olympics through the first Thursday since the 1976 Montreal Olympics. The average rating is 10 percent higher than Beijing (17.7/30) and 20 percent higher than Athens (16.2/28).