Opening Ceremony Draws Total Audience of 28.3M

NBC’s primetime presentation of the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics from PyeongChang, South Korea, drew a total audience of 28.3 million viewers, down 11% from four year ago..

NBC said 27.8 million watched on television according to Nielsen. NBC’s Total Audience Delivery Figure, including online and streaming numbers from Adobe Analytics, is used to sell commercials to advertisers. The night’s out of home audience will be available from Nielsen early next week.

The Opening Ceremony drew the biggest Friday night audience since the Sochi Olympics in 2014, which generated 31.7 million viewers and topped the Opening Ceremony from the Rio games in 2016 by 6%, Unlike four year ago, NBC livestreamed the opening ceremony. The live stream ad an average minute audience of 449,000 viewers, up from 181,000 in Rio two years ago.

“The Opening Ceremony was a terrific show, which we hope will only be topped by the excitement generated by the athletes and competition over the next few weeks,” said Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Broadcasting & Sports. “American audiences continue to be interested and excited for the Games, and the early consumption results show that our multiple platform strategy is dominating the media landscape.”

NBC”s 14.7 household rating beat the combined viewership of ABC, CBS and Fox by 167%, making it the most dominant Friday since Nielsen installed people meters in 1987, NZBC said.

NBC said the Olympics gave The Tonight Show a boost, making it the most-watched regularly schedule episode since Nov. 26, 2015 which it followed the NFL’s Thursday night game.

The most viewed opening ceremony came at the start of the 1994 Lilliehemmer winter games that featured Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding and drew 33.8 million viewers to CBS.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.