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Viewers Watch Olympics All Weekend

August 11, 2008 12:38 PM

OlympicsThe Summer Olympics dominated the weekend’s ratings, as the Beijing Games are on pace to become one of the most watched Games ever.

Friday’s Opening Ceremony on NBC averaged a 10.3 rating/32 share in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers.

The Opening Ceremony increased 27% over Athens’ Opening Ceremony in 2004, but remains second to Atlanta’s in 1996.

As unsurprising as it is, the Olympics are going to be the major story all week, as the Beijing Games are up 14% compared with the first weekend of the Athens Games in the 18-49 demo. The high-water mark of Atlanta is going to be Beijing’s true test.

On Friday, the rest of the nets combined were beaten by NBC by 134% as The CW (1.2/4) took second, CBS (1.1/3) and ABC (1.1/4) tied for third and Fox placed fifth with a 1.0/3.

Saturday was more of the same, as NBC took first with a 7.3/25 as swimmer Michael Phelps made his first run at gold at this year’s Games. Fox was second with a 1.3/5, CBS took third with a 1.1/4 and ABC placed last with a 0.9/3.

On Sunday, NBC averaged an 11.0/30, securing a first-place victory. The only other original programming on last night was “Big Brother” on CBS. According to Nielsen, the reality show drew a 1.5/4, but golf overrun will affect fast national numbers.

Metered markets for Sunday show the Olympics up 16% in households versus 2004 to the highest first Sunday since Barcelona in 1992.

CBS nabbed second with a 1.3/4, ABC took third with a 1.1/3, Fox placed fourth with a 1.0/3 and The CW was fifth with a 0.3/1.

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