NBC earned one of the largest basketball audiences of the year for Sunday’s Olympic gold medal game between the United States and Spain.
The United States/Spain Olympic men’s basketball gold medal game drew 12.5 million viewers on NBC Sunday morning, up 108% from the 2008 gold medal game between the same teams (6.0M).
Sunday’s game aired at 10 AM ET, while the 2008 game began at 2:30 AM ET. Both games aired live in all time zones.
The 12.5 million viewers ranks as the largest audience for the men’s basketball gold medal game since United States/France in 2000 (16.3M).
In addition, USA/Spain ranks as the tenth-most viewed men’s basketball game of 2012, trailing all three NCAA Final Four games, all five games of the NBA Finals, and Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
Not surprisingly, other Olympic basketball games did not fare as well. While the gold medal game aired on the NBC broadcast network, all other USA men’s basketball games aired on the NBC Sports Network.
NBCSN averaged 2.632 million viewers for USA men’s basketball games, with last Monday’s USA/Argentina group play game earning the largest audience (3.33M).
Rounding out the top five were Wednesday’s USA/Australia quarterfinal (3.09M), Friday’s USA/Argentina semifinal (2.82M), the July 29 group play game against France (2.65M), and the August 2 blowout of Nigeria (2.32M). Viewership was not immediately available for the August 4 game against Lithuania.
Most-Viewed Men’s Basketball Games of 2012
|1||Mon., 4/3/12||NCAAB||Final Four: Kentucky/Kansas||CBS||
|2||Thu., 6/21/12||NBA||NBA Finals: Thunder/Heat Game 5||ABC||
|3||Tue., 6/19/12||NBA||NBA Finals: Thunder/Heat Game 4||ABC||
|4||Thu., 6/14/12||NBA||NBA Finals: Heat/Thunder Game 2||ABC||
|5||Sat., 3/31/12||NCAAB||Final Four: Kansas/Ohio State||CBS||
|6||Tue., 6/12/12||NBA||NBA Finals: Heat/Thunder Game 1||ABC||
|7||Sun., 6/17/12||NBA||NBA Finals Thunder/Heat Game 3||ABC||
|8||Sat., 3/31/12||NCAAB||Final Four: Kentucky/Louisville||CBS||
|9||Sat., 6/9/12||NBA||East Finals: Celtics/Heat Game 7||ESPN||
|10||Sun., 8/12/12||Olympics||Gold Medal Game: United States/Spain||NBC||
(Olympic numbers from NBC Universal Media Village)