Ratings for the 2012 London Olympics are now even beginning to trend above Salt Lake City in 2002.
Tape delayed primetime coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics earned a 17.9 final rating and 30.8 million viewers on NBC Wednesday night, up 7% in ratings and 11% in viewership from Beijing in 2008 (16.7, 27.656M), and up 3% and 9%, respectively, from Athens in 2004 (17.3, 28.396M).
The most recent Olympics — the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver — earned a 16.7 and 29.416 million for the first Wednesday. Excluding the Opening Ceremony, that was the highest rated and most-viewed primetime telecast of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The 17.9 rating is the highest for the first Wednesday of any Olympics since Atlanta in 1996 (22.4) — even topping the comparable night of the 2002 Salt Lake City games (17.5), the most recent U.S.-based Olympics.
Among non-U.S. Olympics, the 17.9 is the highest for the first Wednesday since Lillehammer in 1994 (22.8).
Through six nights, primetime coverage of the 2012 London Olympics has averaged a 19.3 rating and 34.8 million viewers on NBC, up 10% in ratings and 13% in viewership from 2008 (17.6, 30.8M), and up 23% and 33%, respectively, from 2004 (15.7, 26.2M).
This marks the highest rated Olympics through the first Wednesday since Salt Lake City in 2002 (19.5) and the highest rated Summer Olympics since Atlanta in 1996 (22.8). Among non-U.S. Olympics, the average is the best since Lillehammer in 1994 and the best for the Summer Olympics since Montreal in 1976.
(Wednesday’s numbers and six-night average from NBC Universal Media Village)