The XXX 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 viewership, the 32.2 million watching the London Games this past week is the highest average for ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC since the 36.0 million who watched the Summer Olympics from Atlanta during the week of July 22 to 28, 1996. NBC’s margins over the #2 network and all the other English-language nets’ ratings put together were the highest since September 1987. Pulling in the most since the creation of the People Meter 25-years ago, NBC’s margins among Adults 18-49 were 920% compared to the #2 network. They were 278% compared to the combined ABC, CBS and Fox rating. In terms of total viewers, NBC’s margins were 667% compared to the #2 and 250% compared to ABC, CBS and Fox combined.
NBC may be generating controversy as well as high ratings for its TV coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, but the network’s digital coverage also is attracting unprecedented traffic across NBCOlympics.com, the NBC Olympics Live Extra and NBC Olympics apps. The network claims that there have been 75 million total video streams, 34 million live streams (and counting — more than the entire Beijing Olympics), 744 million page views, and 31.5 million unique users (web only). NBC also reported more than 6 million downloads of its pair of apps. Cable, satellite and telephone TV customers have verified 6.2 million devices either on NBCOlympics.com or on the NBC Olympics Live Extra app — believed to be the most device verifications ever for a single event in TV Everywhere history. There are approximately 100 million multi-channel homes in the U.S.
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Sharon Osbourne, on hand to represent The Talk during a TCA panel today for CBS’ daytime shows, revealed she has not been formally asked to return as a judge on NBC’s summer hit America’s Got Talent. “They’ve asked Howard [Stern] back,” she said. “They haven’t asked me back. Who knows?” During the panel session held on the Price Is Right Stage at CBS Television City, Osbourne was asked about her tweet last week that suggested she would be leaving her other job as a judge on Talent. “You know, with the greatest respect to everyone here, we are here to talk about the No. 1 network in the world, that is CBS,” she said. “It’s not appropriate at this time.” But afterward, she was asked whether she would come back to Talent if asked. “I don’t know, six years is a long time to be on any show,” she replied. “I have to think about me and what I want to do. I’m so fuckin’ old — I don’t know.”
UPDATE, 1:13 PM:Twitter has given journalist Guy Adams his account back today. “Oh. My Twitter account seems to have been un-suspended. Did I miss much while I was away,” The Independent reporter tweeted earlier today upon his return to the social media site. Twitter told Adams in a brief email that “the complainant retract(ed) their original request.” The journalist’s Twitter account was suddenly suspended Sunday after he let loose with a series of critiques of NBC’s Olympic coverage. In one tweet Adams gave followers the business email of NBC Sports boss Gary Zenkel if they wanted to complain about the network’s tape delayed and edited coverage of the London Games. NBC filed a complaint with Twitter saying that private information about one of their executives had been revealed. NBC and Twitter have an agreement for the social media site to act as the narrator of the Games. It seems that agreement is partially what caused the suspension. “The team working closely with NBC around our Olympics partnership did proactively identify a Tweet that was in violation of our Twitter Rules and encouraged them to file a support ticket with our Trust and Safety team to report the violation, as has now been reported publicly. Our Trust and Safety team did not know that part of the story and acted on the report as they would any other,” wrote Twitter General Counsel Alex Macgillivray today. “We will actively work to ensure this does not happen again,“ he added. Today NBC said, “our interest was in protecting our executive, not suspending the user from Twitter. We didn’t initially understand the repercussions of our complaint, but now that we do, we have rescinded it.”
UPDATE 10:30 AM: Last night’s opening ceremony of the London Olympics drew 40.7 million viewers to become the most watched Summer Games opening ceremony ever and the most watched non-U.S. Olympics opener. Overall, it is the second most watched opening ceremony behind only the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter games. Vs. the last two Summer Olympics, Danny Boyle’s show, highlighted by the Queen’s skit with James Bond, drew almost 6 million more viewers than the 2008 Beijing Olympics (34.9 million) and 15 million more than the 2004 Athens Olympics (25.4 million), the last games held in Europe.
PREVIOUS 7:50 AM: NBC‘s decision to keep footage from the Olympics opening ceremony off TV and the Web for hours to make U.S.’ primetime angered fans but resulted in strong preliminary ratings for the extravaganza orchestrated by Danny Boyle. The show scored a 23.0 Rating/40 Share in the overnight ratings — the highest ever for Games not held on American soil. Compared to the three most recent Olympic Games, that was 7% higher than Beijing, 28% higher than Athens and 24% higher than Sydney. (Of course, London had a more favorable time zone difference than the other three.) Overall, the Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Atlanta Games’ opening festivities are remain highest-rated. The ceremony did great at home too, posting a 14-year high rating for BBC.
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Here is a chart of historic US ratings data: