More than two billion people -- almost one-third of the world’s population -- watched the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony on Friday, August 8, Nielsen reported Thursday.
Nielsen's estimates are based on television audience data collected from 38 key markets throughout the world, including host nation China, the U.S., Brazil, South Africa, Italy, and Australia.
The Asia-Pacific region had the highest audience reach, with more than five in 10 people watching the opening ceremony. Europe and North America followed with 30% and 24% reach, respectively.
Within Asia-Pacific, China had the highest percentage of people tuning into the opening ceremony. South Korea (44% of people), Greece (43% of people), and Australia -- all former Summer Olympics host nations -- also had high viewership percentages.
Viewing levels were also impressive in the U.S., where an estimated that 65 million people watched the opening ceremony.
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