The New York Times reports that the Summer Olympics in Beijing was the most-viewed event in American television history, according to data provided by Nielsen Media Research.
The Beijing Games surpassed the old record- 209 million viewers of the 1996 Games in Atlanta- on Saturday night. Through Saturday, 211 million viewers had watched at least some of the Games on any of NBC Universal’s networks.
On Saturday, 43 million viewers tuned in to at least a portion of NBC’s coverage. The average audience from 9 to 11 p.m. on Saturday night was 16.5 million. Typically, the Games had attracted 27 million or more viewers per night leading up to Saturday.