Make it six for six. Over each of the first half-dozen of NBC's primetime coverage, the London Games has surpassed the corresponding night of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2004 quadrennium in Athens in terms of viewership and household ratings.
The Peacock's August 1 taped telecast -- featuring Nathan Adrian winning the 100-meter freestyle swim and the U.S. women's earning gold in the 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay, and Danell Leyva winning the bronze in the men's gymnastics all-around competition -- averaged 30.8 million viewers, making it the most-watched first Wednesday of any non-U.S. Summer Olympics since ABC aired the Montreal Games in 1976.
The average viewership was up 11% and counted 3.1 million more watchers than the first Wednesday of the Beijing Olympics (27.7 million viewers), and 8% and 2.4 million more than the first Wednesday of the Athens Games (28.4 million viewers), the last time the Summer Olympics were held in Europe.
Through the first Wednesday of the London Olympics, NBC averaged 34.8 million viewers, the most of any non-U.S. Summer Olympics since the Montreal Games. The 34.8 million was 13% and 4 million viewers more than Beijing (30.8 million) and 33% higher and tallied 8.6 million more watchers than in Athens (26.2 million).
Wednesday's primetime coverage from 8 p.m.-11:26 p.m. (ET/PT) scored a 17.9/30 national rating/share, 7% higher than comparable Wednesday night in 2008 (16.7/28), and 3% ahead of Athens (17.3/29) four years earlier.
The six-night average household rating of 19.3/32 ranks as the highest for any non-U.S. Summer Olympics through the first Wednesday since Montreal. The average rating stands 10% and 23% above Beijing (17.6/30) and Athens (15.7/27), respectively.
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