The fifth night of the 2012 London Olympics earned the highest television rating for any Olympics in ten years.
Tape delayed primetime coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics earned a 21.8 final rating and 38.7 million viewers on NBC Tuesday night, up 9% in ratings and 14% in viewership from Beijing in 2008 (19.9, 34.014M), and up 19% and 28%, respectively, from Athens in 2004 (18.3, 30.146M).
The comparable night of the most recent Olympics — the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver — drew a 12.2 and 20.330 million viewers.
The 21.8 rating is the highest for the first Tuesday of the Olympics (winter or summer) since Atlanta in 1996 (27.2). Excluding U.S.-based Olympics, this marks the highest rated first Tuesday since Lillehammer in 1994 (26.8).
Overall, Tuesday’s telecast ranks as the highest rated for any night of the Olympic Games since the Closing Ceremony of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics (22.3, 38.738M), and the most-viewed since this year’s Opening Ceremony (40.651M).
Excluding U.S.-based Olympics, the telecast ranks as the highest rated since the Closing Ceremony in 1994 (22.9).
Through five nights, primetime coverage of the 2012 London Olympics has averaged a 19.5 rating and 35.6 million viewers on NBC, up 10% in ratings and 14% in viewership from 2008 (17.8, 31.3M), and up 27% and 38%, respectively, from 2004 (15.4, 25.8M).
This marks the highest rated Olympics through five nights since 2002 (19.8), the highest rated Summer Olympics since 1996 (22.9), the highest rated non-U.S. Olympics since 1994 (24.4), and the highest rated non-U.S. Summer Olympics since 1976.
(Tuesday’s numbers and five-night averages from NBC Universal Media Village)