(NEW YORK) — According to statistics from Nielsen, the London Olympics drew an Olympic-record 219 million unique viewers across all of NBC’s platforms, surpassing the 215 million who watched the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the 209 million who watched the Athens Games back in 2004, according to Variety. NBC claims it was the most-watched event in TV history.
Over 17 days in primetime, the Olympic coverage averaged 31.1 million viewers, seen across NBC, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, NBC Sports Network and Telemundo, as well as online at NBCOlympics.com. The opening ceremony was the most-watched event, picking up 41 million viewers.
Despite many complaints regarding NBC’s decision to air major events on tape delay, there appears to have been little in the way of damage to ratings, reports Variety. NBC made the claim that even more people tuned in at the end of the day after they had discovered results via other sources.
The Olympic coverage had a positive effect for other NBC shows, including Today, Access Hollywood and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, which posted record viewing figures. The highest-rated city during primetime was Salt Lake City.
NBC bid $4.3 billion for the rights to air the next four Olympic events, including the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Michael Pearson, CNN Newswire
Brett Crandall, BYU-Idaho Communications