Despite airing on tape delay, the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics earned a record overnight rating on NBC.
Tape-delayed coverage of the Opening Ceremony of London Olympics earned a 23.0 overnight rating on NBC Friday night, up 7% from Beijing in 2008 (21.5), and up 28% from Athens in 2004 (18.0).
Friday’s telecast was also up 15% from the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics (20.0).
The 23.0 overnight is the highest ever for the Opening Ceremony of a non-U.S. Olympics, and the highest overall since Salt Lake City in 2002 (27.9).
San Diego, where the Opening Ceremony did not begin airing until 10:30 PM ET, was the top rated market for Friday’s telecast (27.8). Washington, D.C. (26.8), West Palm Beach, FL (26.8), Salt Lake City (26.6), and Denver (26.4) rounded out the top five.
For some perspective, the only sporting events this year to earn a higher overnight rating than Friday’s Opening Ceremony were the Giants/Patriots Super Bowl (47.8), the Giants/49ers NFC Championship Game (33.4), the Ravens/Patriots AFC Championship Game (29.1), the Giants/Packers NFC Divisional Round game (27.4), and the Steelers/Broncos AFC Wild Card Game (25.9).
Outside of the NFL, no sporting event comes close. The BCS National Championship Game earned the top non-NFL overnight of the year so far, with a mere 13.8 overnight.
(Friday’s numbers from NBC Universal Media Village)