The final night of competition at the 2012 London Olympics set another viewership low Saturday night, but still topped Beijing by double-digits.
Tape delayed primetime coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics drew a 12.6 final rating and 21.8 million viewers on NBC Saturday night*, up 22% in ratings and 30% in viewership from Beijing in 2008 (10.3, 16.756M), and up 14% and 21%, respectively, from Athens in 2004 (11.1, 18.029M).
The comparable night of the most recent Olympics — the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver — earned an 11.7 and 20.6 million.
Saturday’s telecast ranks as the lowest rated and least-viewed primetime window of the London Games, marking the third straight night ratings and viewership hit a low point.
With that said, the 12.6 rating is the highest for the final Saturday night of any Olympics since Salt Lake City in 2002 (15.7) and the highest for the Summer Olympics since Atlanta in 1996 (15.8).
Excluding U.S.-based Olympics, the 12.6 is the highest for the final Saturday since Lillehammer in 1994 (22.8) and the highest for the Summer Olympics since Barcelona in 1992 (13.8).
Entering Sunday’s Closing Ceremony, primetime coverage of the 2012 London Olympics averaged a 17.6 rating and 31.1 million viewers on NBC — up 9% in ratings and 12% in viewership from 2008 (16.2, 27.7M), and up 16% and 25%, respectively, from 2004 (15.2, 24.9M).
This marks the highest rated Olympics through the final Saturday since Salt Lake City in 2002 (18.7), and the highest rated Summer Olympics since Atlanta in 1996 (21.6). Excluding U.S.-based Olympics, the 17.6 average is the best since Lillehammer in 1994 (28.1), and the best for the Summer Olympics since Seoul in 1988 (17.7).
* Ratings and viewership for Saturday’s primetime window for the 9:00-11:25 PM ET window only.
(Saturday’s numbers and 16-night average from NBC Universal Media Village)