Congratulations China: the numbers are in and it’s official now, the Beijing Olympic 2008 Games are the most-watched event in US TV history, ever.
Nielsen Media Research has verified that 211 million viewers tuned in to China's Olympics on NBC Universal’s broadcast network and cable channels through 16 days of coverage. This beats the previous record-holder, the 1996 Atlanta Games, by 2 million.
NBC still has another day of coverage that includes China's Olympic closing ceremonies, so the total is bound to grow even more. Olympic games that are hosted in the North American time zone usually have an edge over those hosted abroad, so that makes China's feat even more impressive.
Also, in a world of declining TV ratings and competing Internet feeds, NBC boasted 11% higher ratings (averaging 27.7 million viewers per night) than its coverage of the Athens Games in 2004.
Many are attributing this huge success to Michael Phelps and his successful historic quest to earn 8 Olympic Golds at Beijing, China.
London has big shoes to fill in 2012. Now, if they manage to put David Beckham in a speedo, they might have a shot…
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