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Record Ratings For Nbc's Olympic Opening Ceremony


Ibirapuera
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NBC’s Olympic dream of ratings fireworks came true.

The network’s coverage of the Games got off to a roaring start Friday with the most-watched and highest-rated non-U.S. summer opening ceremony telecast ever.

The Beijing event averaged 34.2 million viewers and received an 18.6 national household rating.

In the nearly 50 years of televised Olympics, that's higher than any previous non-domestic summer opener -- up 35% in viewers from the Athens ceremony in 2004 (25.4 million, 14.6 rating) and 25% higher than Sydney in 2000 (18.5/32). The household rating bested the 1960 Rome Games on CBS (18.1) -- a record that's stood for 48 years, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The mammoth figures weren't quite enough to overturn all opening ceremonies based in the U.S., however. The rating was 14% shy of the Atlanta Games in 1996 (39.8 million, 23.6 rating).

NBC's performance was far above industry expectations. Insiders had estimated that NBC's event last night would drop about 11% from the Athens Games opener. Though public curiosity and media interest in China’s opening ceremony has been high, overall broadcast television ratings have fallen 16% since 2004. Viewership for major events such as the Academy Awards have plummeted in recent years.

Plus, NBC has been chided for delaying broadcast of the ceremony until primetime while most nations aired the event live. Yet NBC's patience may have aided the show in ways not anticipated by the network. With gushing critic reviews and lavish images saturating the media Friday, many viewers likely tuned in to see if the ceremony could possibly live up to the hype.

By most accounts, U.S. audiences were just as impressed as the billions of viewers who watched the ceremony live worldwide. Tom Shales of the Washington Post wrote that "eye-poppers gave way to jaw-droppers, stunners were followed by dazzlers," though THR.com’s Barry Garron said NBC all-but ignored the political context of the production.

NBC has claimed more than $1 billion in advertising revenue for the Summer Games and spent a reported $894 million to acquire the U.S. broadcast and digital rights. Whether Friday’s performance heralds the beginning of lofty Olympics ratings remains to be seen. NBC's Web site saw its most traffic ever on Friday with 70 million page views -- 10 times more than the opening day of the Athens Games.

In general, however, the opening ceremony isn’t necessarily a barometer of how the Games perform overall. And with NBC Universal airing an unprecedented 3,600 hours of Olympic coverage during the 17-day event across various platforms, easy comparisons to previous Games may prove futile.

"If you track past Olympics by day the first few days of competition are what really tell the tale -- like the second and third episode of a new series," says TV historian Tim Brooks. "Still, this is definitely a good start."

http://www.thrfeed.com/2008/08/ceremony-rating.html

it's a really impressive number, in US very few TV shows reach the 30 million viewers mark (American Idol and the Oscar's annual telecast are some of them).

So I guess NBC won't change their strategy of just air the Opening at Primetime anytime soon

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By who's watching the competition?

I watched last night till 3am, the Venezuelans and US Volleyball match but I don't know ho many in the US are going to stay tuned. An every time I open my computer the results are revealed.

Looking forward to 2016 in Chicago, otherwise I have to go to the games next time.

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By who's watching the competition?

I watched last night till 3am, the Venezuelans and US Volleyball match but I don't know ho many in the US are going to stay tuned. An every time I open my computer the results are revealed.

What do you mean 'who's watching the competition'?

That's why they have the less popular matches at 3:00am or so, because they know viewership will be thin then. NBC doesn't expect blow-out viewership on each and every event and channel.

But those Opening Ceremony numbers are good for Chicago's chances!! Only problem is, so many more people NOW will be wanting to go to those doggone Ceremonies!! :angry:

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Here in Brazil the Opening Ceremony also got strong number of viewers , I just checked the info and ratings for Globo TV (the most prestigious Brazilian channel ) had tripled its morning normal audience and the national household rating was around 42.5 (big difference if we compare with the US, but here in Brazil cable TV is not as strong as in the states for obvious reasons,so viewers don't have much options really).

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Here in Brazil the Opening Ceremony also got strong number of viewers , I just checked the info and ratings for Globo TV (the most prestigious Brazilian channel ) had tripled its morning normal audience and the national household rating was around 42.5 (big difference if we compare with the US, but here in Brazil cable TV is not as strong as in the states for obvious reasons,so viewers don't have much options really).

Ibira, I believe the NBC-OC numbers are from the network channel. So FREE, none of the cable channels.

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What do you mean 'who's watching the competition'?

That's why they have the less popular matches at 3:00am or so, because they know viewership will be thin then. NBC doesn't expect blow-out viewership on each and every event and channel.

But those Opening Ceremony numbers are good for Chicago's chances!! Only problem is, so many more people NOW will be wanting to go to those doggone Ceremonies!! :angry:

Do you mean good because of the revenue possibilities on a US game in a time zone conducive to live viewer-ship?

NBC has a huge headquarters in Chicago in a very popularity high rise built for them. (I hate that building) I hope this presence will be a positive element in the 2016 selection.

IMG_5631.JPG

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Do you mean good because of the revenue possibilities on a US game in a time zone conducive to live viewer-ship?

Exactly. It means that interest in a much anticipated Olympics (like Beijing) can still bring in impressive #s in the US. Which means they can charge costlier airtime. Which means the IOC can raise the minimums for the sale of its broadcast rights to the US market; therefore MORE $$ in the coffers for the IOC.

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Exactly. It means that interest in a much anticipated Olympics (like Beijing) can still bring in impressive #s in the US. Which means they can charge costlier airtime. Which means the IOC can raise the minimums for the sale of its broadcast rights to the US market; therefore MORE $$ in the coffers for the IOC.

Well I hope it happen, and they make tons of money. If we can figure out something great for the stadium issue, it will be a fantastic games. Chicago will be transformed by these games, it will push them to another level and create (I believe) an enormous period of the right kind of growth for an important city, much admired but underestimated internationally.

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