NBC's coverage of the Opening Ceremony for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018 posted a Total Audience Delivery average of 28.3 million viewers to rank as the most-watched Friday night program on any network since the 2014 Sochi Olympics, according to live plus same day fast national data released today by Nielsen, and digital data from Adobe Analytics. (Nielsen "out of home" viewership will be available early next week.)
NBC's 14.7/27 primetime household rating for the Opening Ceremony outperformed by 167% the combined rating of ABC, CBS and FOX for the night (5.5), to rank as the most-dominant Friday in People Meter History (Sept.-May TV season, since Sept. 1987). Here's what Mark Lazarus, Chairman of NBC Broadcasting & Sports said in a statement.
""The Opening Ceremony was a terrific show, which we hope will only be topped by the excitement generated by the athletes and competition over the next few weeks. American audiences continue to be interested and excited for the Games, and the early consumption results show that our multiple platform strategy is dominating the media landscape."
The NBC television viewership of 27.8 million for the Opening Ceremony marks the largest audience on a Friday night in four years, a stretch that included four Friday World Series games, two NBA Finals games, three nights of 2016 Rio Olympics coverage, and two nights of the Sochi Olympics.
Opening Ceremony viewership on NBC peaked at 31.5 million from 9-9:15 p.m. ET, as Team USA entered during the Parade of Nations. Last night's broadcast (8-11:02 p.m. ET) ranks as the largest audience for a Friday night on any network since NBC's presentation of the 2014 Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony (31.7 million viewers, Feb. 7, 2014). In addition, last night's Total Audience Delivery topped by 6% the 2016 Rio Opening Ceremony (26.7 million TAD). The West Coast primetime telecast is included in metrics.
NBC Sports Digital's Opening Ceremony streaming (live at 6 a.m. ET and simultaneous to the NBC primetime show) on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app delivered an average minute audience of 449,000 viewers - more than double the audience for the Rio Opening Ceremony (181,000). NBC Sports Digital's full-day streaming total of 64.2 million live stream minutes exceeded the total of 16 of the 17 competition days in Sochi. The Sochi Opening Ceremony was not streamed.
NBC Olympics this morning made available the full, unedited world feed of the Opening Ceremony of the XXIII Olympic Winter Games for viewing anytime on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app. Friday night's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon delivered an 18% increase in total viewers versus the night of the Rio Opening Ceremony - averaging 4.662 million persons versus 3.943 million on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016, during the Rio Games.
It also marked Tonight's most-watched regularly scheduled edition since Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 (5.016 million, following a primetime NFL Thanksgiving game) and most-watched Friday telecast in three years, since Feb. 20, 2015 (4.814 million, following an encore of the SNL 40th Anniversary special in primetime). Versus Tonight's season average for originals, Friday's telecast was up 79% in total viewers (4.622 million vs. 2.599 million). Jim Bell, Joe Gesue and Rebecca Chatman served as producers of NBC's Opening Ceremony coverage; Michael Sheehan, director.
A division of NBC Sports Group, NBC Olympics is responsible for producing, programming and promoting NBCUniversal's Olympic Games coverage. It is renowned for its unsurpassed Olympic heritage, award-winning production, and ability to aggregate the largest audiences in U.S. television history. NBCUniversal owns the U.S. media rights on all platforms to all Olympic Games through 2032.