Even with the traditional en masse tuneout that accompanies the final weekend of any Olympics, the 2012 London Olympics has still maintained a healthy lead on Beijing.
Tape delayed primetime coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics drew a 13.2 final rating and 22.5 million viewers on NBC Friday night*, up 23% in ratings and 26% in viewership from Beijing in 2008 (10.7, 17.876M), and up 6% and 12%, respectively, from Athens in 2004 (12.5, 20.141M).
The comparable night of the most recent Olympics — the 2010 Winter Olympics from Vancouver — earned a 13.9 and 24.5 million. This marks the first time that any night of the London Olympics has trailed Vancouver.
Friday’s telecast ranks as the lowest rated and least-viewed of the Olympics (Saturday’s numbers are not yet available).
While Friday’s telecast trailed Vancouver in 2010, the 13.2 rating is the highest the third Friday of any Summer Olympics since Atlanta in 1996 (16.1).
Through Friday, coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics averaged a 17.8 rating and 31.5 million viewers on NBC — up 8% in ratings and 12% in viewership from 2008 (16.5, 28.1M), and up 15% and 25%, respectively, from 2004 (15.5, 25.3M).
This marks the highest rated Olympics through the third Friday since Salt Lake City in 2002 (18.9), and the highest rated Summer Olympics since Atlanta in 1996 (22.0).
Excluding U.S.-based Olympics, the London Games ranks as the highest rated since Lillehammer in 1994 (28.6), and is tied with Seoul in 1988 as the highest rated Summer Olympics since Montreal in 1976.
* Of note, the numbers for Friday’s telecast are for the 9:00-11:14 PM ET time period only.
(Friday’s numbers and 15-night average from NBC Universal Media Village)