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NBC reports increase in Olympics viewers

Kerri Walsh, left, and Misty May hug after defeating Japan in their opening game of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

NBC Universal claimed a 16.2 rating (Nielsen Media Research data) for the first two nights of its prime-time broadcasts from the 2008 Beijing Games. The rating represents a 22% increase from the 11.8 rating that Nielsen calculated for the first two prime-time broadcasts from the 2004 Athens Games.

NBC described the Friday/Saturday rating as "the best ... for a non-U.S. Summer Olympics since Montreal in 1976," which registered a 22.1 rating.

NBC Universal said  114 million viewers tuned in for at least some Olympic action on NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, USA, Oxygen, Bravo or Telemundo on Friday and/or Saturday. That's 4  million more than the first two broadcast days from Atlanta in 1996, and nearly 20 million more than during the first Friday/Saturday of the 2004 Athens Games.

NBC Universal credited audience interest in beach volleyballers Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, who won their first round, and Michael Phelps, who swam to his first Bejing gold medal.

NBCOlympics.com drew 62.7 million page views on Saturday, which NBC Universal described as "traditionally the lowest trafficked day of the week." The first day of competition at the 2004 Athens Games generated 10.9 million page views.

NBCOlympics.com generated 132.6 million page views for the first two days of the Beijing Games, up from 17.9 million during the first two days of the Athens Games.

-- Greg Johnson

Photo: U.S. women's volleyball players Kerri Walsh, left, and Misty May-Treanor hug after defeating Japan in their opening game of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

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Comments (5)

It is August 10th, 9:05 PM EST and I have just watched Bob Costas of NBC make a fool of himself in front of the world while interviewing President Bush. Boob's attempt at being an international diplomatic correspondent and conducting an improptu international political analysis forum with the president was totally out of place. I would suggest Boob stick to sports commentary and save his attempts to embarass the President for when he graduates to being a political correspondent. Get real Boob, stick to the Olympics..that's what Jeff Immelt is paying you for.

I am not watching NBC to see any more of W. What in the world does NBC think that it's doing. If Costas has to pretend to be a political interviewer, then he needs to ask thoughtful and provocative questions. On the other hand, how would W be able to answer them?

Get back to the Olympics. I am sick of the politics.

Truly ridiculous to tape delay one of the biggest events in Olympic history. As bad, is that NBC insists on NEVER displaying any given racing event on screen WHILE THE EVENT IS TAKING PLACE. THIS IS LIKE NOT SHOWING WHAT INNING A BASEBALL GAME IS IN, OR WHAT QUARTER A FOOTBALL OR BASKETBALL GAME IS IN. In , what makes either a track or swimming event exciting is knowing which particular event is being watched - you know, how many meters the athlete must swim or run... Otherwise you're simply watching people swim or run, just to swim or run. By missing the opening announcer telling me (in a split second) which race is being raced, I'm screwed for the next 3 to 12 minutes depending on what race is being raced. If I'm watching a 100M freestyle swimming or a 400m track event, I want to know this WHILE I'M WATCHING THE EVENT- ABC got this right in 1972 for God's sake!, the producers at NBC absolutely do not get it. Sports Television Production's first rule is to make the sport being covered exciting and understandable for the audience- to make the viewer feel like they are as close to being at the event as possible. Can you imagine being in a track stadium or indoor swimming event and NOT HAVING THE PARTICULAR EVENT BEING RACED POSTED FOR THE AUDIENCE IN THE STADIUM TO SEE!!!??? Not to mention the millions of people watching all over the world in bars and restaurants without sound- so bad! NBC, YOUR PRODUCERS ARE SHORT SIGHTED AND TERRIBLE- MAKE THE OLYMPICS MORE ENJOYABLE AND FIGURE OUT THE SIMPLE STUFF!!! Furthermore the World and Olympic Record times DURING the event should be posted for at least the last 30 seconds of any race, allowing the viewer the excitement and anticipation of a potential record being broken (the producers instead flash the world and Olympic record times every 50 meters or so, for two seconds, so fast it's unreadable).

The olympics boxing (no faults of the host country) is one big sham I seen more punches not count then any Olympics before Beijng. To rob any fighter of their right to be judge for his work is a crime. These young men put years of work in to get to moment to be rob, just make me mad the Olympics commitee should apolgize to all the men who took part in the year's event.

The American's Track & Field coaching staff along with Boxing should almost go the same route as the Basketball (Mens) totally revamp the system. Get their teams together at least a year prior to the Olympics with lots of drills and practices. Our power events turned to be our weakest, and poorly excuted ones and that a shame. Go USA 2012 !!!!!


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