The 2012 London Olympics were nothing short of smashing (and wouldn’t NBC love some of those ratings today?). Now comes the official documentary of the games, First, an insider look at several rookie Olympians who bypassed car surfing and beer pong to focus on their golden dreams. The film focuses on young athletes in sports ranging from running to swimming, gymnastics to diving, cycling to BMX, boxing to judo and covering Olympians from the U.S. — including teenage four-time gold medalist Missy Franklin — China, Kenya, Ireland, South Africa and elsewhere. The doc from writer-director-producer Caroline Rowland will hit theaters May 30, followed by a July 27 airing on NBC.
Danny Boyle threatened to resign as artistic director of the opening ceremony of last year’s Olympic Games in London, he has disclosed. In an updated book of conversations with journalist Amy Raphael, to be published on April 4, Boyle claims he butted heads with Games organizers Locog over creative differences and his displeasure with certain decisions being made for the Games. He came “close to walking away” when he heard of plans for ground-to-air missile silos to be installed on buildings near the Olympic site, and became “unbelievably unpleasant” during meetings with Locog. “Occasional threats to resign were useful,” he said. “There’s a terror of bad headlines in the press, which you have to turn to your advantage.” A major point of contention was a stadium wrap being designed by the artist Damien Hirst. Hirst pulled out over a row about sponsorship from Dow Chemical and its links to the Bhopal gas disaster in India in 1984, which killed 15,000 people. “He didn’t want to be associated with Dow,” Boyle said, although Hirst did later contribute a design to the closing ceremony.
The European Broadcasting Union is touting Olympics viewing figures for public service broadcasters in some of its major territories, saying the numbers outstrip those of any previous Games. While the UK was indeed big, there was more of a shrug across the rest of Europe. And now that all is said and done, standing the figures up to the recent Euro Cup soccer tournament paints a pretty clear picture of Europeans’ sport of choice.
As Deadline has previously reported, the Olympic host country’s BBC had peak audiences for London 2012 that bested its 2008 coverage of the Beijing Games. But peak viewing on the BBC for a June 24 Euro Cup soccer meet-up between England and Italy was 23.2M compared to the highest Olympic peak of 20M during Usain Bolt’s 100-meter final win on Aug 5.
In France, 34M viewers tuned into at least an hour of Olympic action on channels operated by local public broadcaster France Télévisions. France 2 had a 27.5% share for Danny Boyle’s Opening Ceremony, its best in seven years. But back in June when France lost to Spain in the Euro Cup, leading net TF1 had an over 50% audience share. Germany’s ZDF averaged 3.59M viewers for its entire coverage of the Games with a 24.9% share. The Beijing share was close to that at 22.5%, but … Read More »
The Tonight Show might want to have Olympians and the First Lady on more often. The appearance of multiple Gold medal winning gymnast Gabby Douglas and Michelle Obama on Jay Leno last night gave the late night show its highest Monday rating in metered market households since the night after the Super Bowl. That February 6, 2012 show had a metered market rating of 3.5/9, last night had a 3.3/8. Hot off her London Games wins, Monday was Douglas’ Tonight Show debut. It was the third visit for Michelle Obama. The First Lady was on before on January 31, 2012 and back on October 27, 2008 when her husband was still Sen. Barack Obama. That last visit in January of this year by Mrs. Obama got a 2.9/8 in metered market households. Following Leno, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon also had its best night since February 6. Fallon, who had Gold medal winning basketball players and Oklahoma Thunder teammates Kevin Durant and James Harden plus Meredith Vieira, Big Ang and musical guest Needtobreathe on, got a 1.7/6. The day after the Super Bowl, Late Night had 1.9/7 in meter-marketed households
After over two weeks, Monday was the first night of television without the Olympics. But with three premieres, there was still a lot of onscreen action even on NBC. Coming off the XXX Summer Games being the most-watched event in U.S. TV history, the network had the brand new Stars Earn Stripes (1.7/5) and the second season return of Grimm (2.0/5). In fast nationals, Grimm was down 5% from its series premiere on October 28, 2011 but garnered its second highest rating ever. Hosted by former NATO Commander and Presidential candidate Wesley Clark, the Mark Burnett-produced Stars puts celebs like Dean Cain, Todd Palin and former NFL player and The Expendables actor Terry Crews through simulated military challenges. The show looks to have some challenges of its own, Stars Earn Stripes was down 23% from the debut of fellow competition show Love in The Wild last summer on NBC. With its Olympics coverage done, NBC was down 10% from its pre-Games Monday average this summer. Over on Fox, it was the first night of the two evening debut of Hotel Hell (1.9/6). It got off to a good start. Hotel Hell was the highest rated new series to debut on ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox this summer. Hosted by Gordon Ramsey, like a few other shows on Fox, Hotel Hell, which will air regularly on Mondays. The debut was followed by a new Hell’s Kitchen (2.7/7). Back to … Read More »
UPDATE, 1:56 PM: The XXX Summer Games has hit TV Gold. With 219.4 million viewers NBC’s broadcast of the 2012 Olympics has become the most-watched event in U.S. TV history. Having hit the second most-watched mark last Thursday, the London Games has now surpassed the 215 million who watched the 2008 Beijing Games. NBCUnivesal broadcasted the Games across its networks of NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, and Telemundo. Last night’s Closing Ceremony (17.0/27) hit some Olympic highs for the network too. Sunday’s 8:30 – 10:58 broadcast pulled in 31.0 million viewers. That made London’s extravaganza last night the most watched non-U.S. Closing Ceremony since Montreal in 1976. It’s total viewership was 12% more that watched the 2008 Closing Ceremony and 58% more than watched the 2004 Closing Ceremony. In terms of ratings, last night’s Closing Ceremony beat the end of the Beijing Games (15.5/25) by 10% an the 2004 Athens Games (11.9/20) by 43%. In the Olympic aftermath, the 10:58 -11:20 PM commercial-free Animal Practice preview that NBC showed last night averaged a 4.1 among the key demo of Adults 18-49. While the preview left many annoyed that they had to wait until after it and local News aired to see rock legends The Who at the Olympic Closing Ceremony, Animal Practice had 12.8 million viewers overall last night. Over the 17 nights of the London Games, NBC averaged 31.1 million viewers. That number was 12% higher than … Read More »
Maybe you waited for NBC’s tape-delayed primetime broadcast tonight of the London Olympics Closing Ceremony orchestrated by executive producer Stephen Daldry and artistic director Kim Gavin. The duo promised to put on an unforgettable party showcasing British icons and British creativity – but the live show couldn’t quite pack the same punch of Danny Boyle’s opening night. In the U.S., NBC‘s live webstream of the show – heavily branded by Olympics sponsor Coca-Cola - struggled to keep up with Eric Idle singing “Always Look On The Bright Side of Life” from the iconic Monty Python movie Life Of Brian and cursing on the song lyric, “Life’s a piece of shit when you look at it,” which made its way into the stream. That was edited out by NBC for primetime. Blogger Matt Drudge watched the spectacle live and tweeted that it was “easily top most moving media event of year so far. Watch NBC butcher it.” UPDATE: Tweets from NBC viewers on the East Coast say Ray Davies of the Kinks performace of “Waterloo Sunset” and the dance piece to Kate Bush music were edited out of American broadcast of Olympics Closing Ceremony.
It is almost over, and on the final full day of the XXX Summer Olympics (12.6/23) NBC’s 9-11:14 PM primetime coverage of the 2012 Games beat the 2008 Beijing Games by 30% in total viewership. Saturday had an average of 21.8 million viewers compared to Beijing’s 16.8 million on the comparable night. That’s the biggest viewer advantage of London over Beijing for the entire duration of the 2012 Games so far. Last night’s final Saturday primetime viewership number are, no surprise after over two weeks of Olympics broadcasts, down from the 28.0 million who watched Michael Phelps get his 22nd Olympic medal last Saturday. The averaged 31.1 million viewers that the 2012 London Games has had over the past 16 nights has made it the most watched non-U.S. Summer Games since Montreal in 1976. In comparison to Beijing’s average 27.7 million viewers, the London Games are up 12% over the first 16 nights. They are up 25% to the same for the 2004 Athens Games, which had an average of 24.9 million viewers.
It’s not clear yet if the London Games will surpass the 2008 Beijing Games as the most-watched event in U.S. TV history but it’s getting closer. The XXX Summer Olympics moved into the number two spot on Thursday with a total audience of 210.5 million compared to Beijing’s 215 million. That 2012 number moved up to 212.7 million based on Friday’s viewership. Saturday started off … Read More »
NBC said today it will stream Sunday’s Olympic closing ceremony live online after all, the AP reported. In changing its position, NBC acknowledged that it has taken plenty of heat over its decision to broadcast tape-delayed coverage of the Summer Games in London including the Opening Ceremony on July 27.
But NBC has found that live streaming of Olympic sports events hasn’t cut into its primetime viewiership, which for the most part has surpassed the 2008 Games in Beijing as well as other previous Games. Sunday’s stream will be available to cable and satellite customers who go to the NBCOlympics.com website. NBC described Sunday’s stream as an experiment and emphasized that it doesn’t necessarily mean the network would apply the same approach to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The stream is supposed to be available to cable and satellite customers who go to the NBCOlympics.com website. Ceremony begins at 9 p.m. London time and 1 p.m. Pacific.
During Sunday’s proceedings flagbearers from participating nations will enter the stadium followed by all the competing athletes together instead of by nationality. The ceremony will include a handover from London to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer Games, followed by the extinguishing of the Olympics flame, signaling the official end of the current Games.
LONDON – August 11, 2012 – NBC’s Olympic primetime host Bob Costas will host the London 2012 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony from Olympic Stadium alongside co-hosts Al Michaels, the host of NBC’s Olympic daytime coverage, and Ryan Seacrest, Olympic primetime correspondent. The Closing Ceremony will follow London Gold, a special presentation of the top moments and athletes of the 2012 Olympics. Coverage begins Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Part of the Closing Ceremony will be “A Symphony of British Music,” celebrating one of Britain’s strongest cultural exports over the last 50 years, and featuring world-famous British musicians.
In the tradition of the Olympic Closing Ceremony, London will hand over the Olympic flag to Rio, the host of the next Summer Olympics in 2016. The flag will be turned over to Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes and there will be a samba- and Carnival-flavored cultural presentation by the next host city.
Heading into the closing weekend of the XXX Summer Olympics one would expect some interesting ratings and viewership numbers, especially with the U.S. taking its medal count yesterday up to a first place 94. However, there seems to be a processing problem at Nielsen today so National Ratings and Viewership data for NBC’s primetime Olympic coverage of the London Games last night as well as other programming is not available. What is available is that the overnight for Friday’s primetime XXX Summer Games was 14.6/26. That’s up 17% from the comparable night of the 2008 Beijing Games, which had an overnight rating/share of 12.5/22. That 17% spread is the biggest any over night of this year’s games has had so far over the 2008 Games. In comparison to the same night during the first week of the 2012 Olympics, there has been a ratings drop in recent days. Last Friday’s 8:30 – 11:09 PM primetime broadcast of the London Games on NBC earned a 16.2/29 national rating/share and averaged 28.5 million viewers. Comprehensive data from NBC’s primetime broadcast last night is expected by Monday when we’ll also likely be looking at figures for Sunday’s events and the Closing Ceremony.
There was a race on NBC tonight but it wasn’t simply an Olympic one. The network’s Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd came on air at 9:22 PM PT during the XXX Summer Olympics to announce that NBC News was calling Rep. Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s choice of Vice-Presidential candidate for this year’s Presidential race. Coming right in the middle of NBC’s highly coveted primetime Olympic coverage, Todd along with Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell broke into a track and field relay that was on at the time. As far as can be determined, ABC, CBS and Fox did not break into the episodes of 20/20, CSI:NY and Bones that they were respectively playing.
UPDATE, 1:41 PM: It’s a Silver for London. The 2012 London Olympics are now the second most watched event in American TV history. The London Games have had a total audience of 210.5 million over the first 14 days. That audience across NBCUniversal’s networks of NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo and Bravo beats the 1996 Atlanta Olympics’ 209 million viewership but is still behind the 215 million who saw the 2008 Beijing Games. It was a combo of Silver and Gold for NBC’s primetime coverage of Thursday’s XXX Summer Games (13.6/23). In the end London just couldn’t beat Beijing in the ratings but they did beat 2008 in total viewers. Thursday’s primetime final numbers have London 1% down in the ratings from the comparable second Thursday of the 2008 Summer Olympics from China’s capitol. However, in terms of total viewers, NBC pulled in 22.9 million viewers overall last night, just a little bit more than the 22.4 million who watched the comparable night from 2008. And, as any Olympian will tell you, that little bit is the difference between Gold and Silver. Over on NBC Sports Network, the American Women’s team soccer Gold medal winning victory over Japan hit a viewership high for the channel. The game pulled in 4.35 million viewers, surpassing the July 2, 2010 Stanley Cup Final between the Philadelphia Flyer and the Chicago Blackhawks. That game had held the NBC Sports … Read More »
UPDATE, 1:23 PM: The final tally is in and for last night’s XXX Summer Games (16.8/28) it was truly a Gold medal spike worthy of Beach Volleyball winners Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor. With 29.1 million viewers on average tuning in, last night was the most watched second Wednesday of any Summer Olympics in 36 years. That includes the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games, which pulled in 28.9 million on its second Wednesday. While the London Games has often topped all other non-U.S. Summer Games since 1976, it has rarely done better than Games that were held in the United States. Of course, as it has in the final numbers for 12 of the 13 nights of the London Games, NBC’s primetime 8 – 11 PM coverage of the Olympics once again bested the 2008 Beijing Games. The Summer Olympics four years ago got 24.8 million on its second Wednesday, that’s 17% less than last night. Last night’s coverage was also up 11% in the ratings from Beijing’s 15.2/26 on the comparable night back in 2008. The 32.6 million viewers that NBC has had on average in primetime over the first 13 day s of the London Games is 3.6 million more than the average of 29.0 million that watched the first 13 nights of the Beijing Games.
PREVIOUS UPDATE: NBC released “fast official” ratings for the preview of Go On, which actually aired from 11:06-11:30 PM. It averaged a 5.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 16.1 million viewers and posted a 84% retention from the first to second half, according to NBC.
PREVIOUS: Last night’s Olympics coverage on NBC, punctuated by an all-American beach volleyball women’s final won by three-time champions Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor, and a track & field gold rush, delivered a 9.2/27 among adults 18-49 from 8-11 PM and 28.7 million viewers in the fast nationals. That was up 14% from the same night during the Beijing games and down 5% from last Wednesday as Olympics ratings tend to taper off in Week 2. A commercial-free preview of NBC’s new comedy Go On starring Matthew Perry aired from 11:04-11:30 PM. NBC’s 11-11:30 PM fast national average was 18.6 million viewers and a 6.4/20 in 18-49. Extrapolating the numbers, Go On pulled in about 5.8 demo rating and 16.6 million viewers. While that is only a little more than half of the show’s lead-in (NBC’s Olympics coverage scored 10.4 and 30.6 million viewers from 10:30-11 PM), it is still good sampling for the new series. Read More »
Some new details have emerged surrounding Sunday’s Olympics Closing Ceremony while speculation as to the content continues to swirl. Following Danny Boyle’s corker of an opener that scored ratings highs in the US and UK, music director David Arnold told The Telegraph, “To me this should be the greatest after party in the world.” A tribute to British design, fashion, fine art, poetry, playwriting and pop music, the show is titled A Symphony Of British Music. Over 4,100 performers will kick off the event at 9 PM local time on Sunday. But once again, it looks like folks in the US will have to wait at least 3 hours to catch the festivities as NBC will broadcast the ceremony starting at 7 PM local time, according to current schedules. Among the performers tipped are The Who, Paul McCartney, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, George Michael, Paul Weller, the Spice Girls, Adele, Ray Davies, Liam Gallagher, Annie Lennox, Madness, the Pet Shop Boys, Take That, Muse, One Direction and members of Queen. Over 10,000 athletes and flagbearers are expected to march with the men’s marathon medal ceremony a feature. Stephen Daldry is exec producer of the ceremonies. Arnold, the composer who has handled scores for recent Bond films Quantum Of Solace and Casino Royale and TV shows including Sherlock and Little Britain USA, says he’s been working for two years to put together … Read More »
UPDATE, 12:24 PM: The final XXX Summer Olympics (17.6/29) numbers from last night are in and it’s both a Silver and a Gold Medal for NBC. It’s a Silver because last night was still down from the big 21.8/35 that the first Tuesday of the Games received. However, it’s also a Gold because, with 30.1 million total viewers watching, the network’s primetime coverage of the London Games, last night was the best second Tuesday of any non-U.S. Summer Olympics since 1976 in Montreal. Tuesday night’s rating was up 8% over the comparable night of the 2008 Beijing Games and 12% over the second Tuesday of the 2004 Athens Games. Total viewership is up 11% over the comparable night of Beijing, which had 26.6 million, and up 20% from the comparable night of Athens, which had 25.0 million. Over on Telemundo, NBC’s sister Spanish language network, Tuesday was a bit of ratings history. The network’s noon to 2 PM broadcast of the soccer semifinal between Mexico and Japan on Tuesday was the highest rated telecast in the time slot in the network’s 28-year history. The match, which Mexico won, pulled in 1.4 million viewers on average and 713,000 in the Adults 18-49 demo.
PREVIOUS, 8:44 AM: TheXXX Summer Olympics (9.3/27) is heading into the final stretch towards Sunday’s Closing Ceremony. April Ross and Jennifer Kessey’s win on Tuesday means it’s an all American Volleyball Gold final … Read More »
UPDATE, 4:40 PM: It was close, but in the final numbers the second Monday of the XXX Summer Olympics(15.8/25) drew even with Beijing in ratings and actually got ahead of the 2008 Games in viewership. NBC’s 8-11:05 PM coverage ended up flat with the comparable night of the 2008 Beijing Summer Games (15.8/26). However, London was up over Beijing when it came to total viewership last night – by 1%. A total of 26.6 million viewers watched the Day 10 primetime broadcast last night. That’s up from the 25.99 million reported earlier in fast nationals. It is also up from the 26.4 million who watched the comparable night of the 2008 Beijing Summer Games and 2% higher than the comparable night for the 2004 Athens Summer Games. Monday was only the second night this Olympics that total viewership has been less than 30 million, with August 5’s coverage pulling in 28.0 million. On average, the first 11 nights of the London Games have been a real winner for NBC, garnering the network the highest average viewership and household ratings for any non-U.S. Summer Games since the Montreal Olympics of 1976. On average, over the first 10 days, the network has hit 10-year high ratings. Over on NBC Sports Network, Monday actually was a record breaking day.
TheXXX Summer Games has hit multiple Gold for NBC. Starting with the Opening Ceremony on July 27, the network’s coverage of the London Games has given NBC its highest scoring week among Adults 18-49 and total viewers in a decade. The network had an average 10.2 rating, a 29 share among the Adults 18-49 demo and 32.2 million overall viewers. The last time NBC had those kinds of ratings and viewership numbers was the week of February 18-24, 2002 during the Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games. As an example, the 36.8 million total viewers NBC average on August 2, 2012 made that night the most-watched first Thursday of any non-U.S. Summer Olympics since the Montreal Games of 1976. It also made it the most-watched Thursday telecast on any network since the May 6, 2004 finale of Friends, which was also on NBC. Despite criticism of its tape delay and editing of the Opening Ceremony and some events, the audience NBC has had for the London Olympics is the highest for any network since Fox hit a 11/5 average during the January 31 to February 6, 2001 Super Bowl Week. To add to the medal count, the last week has been the best summer week NBC has had in 16 years. During the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games, NBC had a 12.6 for the week of July 29 to August 4. Also, in terms of average total … Read More »
UPDATE, 1:30 PM: The final national ratings numbers for last night’s XXX Summer Olympics (17.5/29) on NBC are in and, like Usain Bolt on the track, London has once again surged ahead of the last summer games in Beijing. Sunday’s viewership of NBC’s 7:30 – 11:29 PM coverage was up 15% over the second Sunday of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. That’s the ninth time in the 10 nights of the 2012 Games so far that London has beaten Beijing. Saturday’s coverage from London was down to 28 million on August 4, compared to Beijing’s 31.6 million on the comparable night in 2008. The Games last night, which included a portion of a special profile of Michael Phelps that had started at 7 PM, pulled in 31.3 million viewers. That’s up from Beijing’s 27.2 million on the second Sunday and up 20% from the 26 million who watched the second Sunday of the 2004 Athens Games. As earlier fast nationals indicated, the second Sunday of the London Games was down from the first Sunday which had total viewership of 35.44 million. The 10 day average of 33.6 million primetime viewers and 18.8 household rating has given London the distinction of being the most watched and highest rated non-U.S. Summer Olympics since Montreal, Canada hosted the Games in 1976. Domestically, the highest rated time zone watching the Games, including the June 27 Opening Ceremony, has been Mountain … Read More »