Jul 31, 2012; London, United Kingdom; USA swimmers Conor Dwyer (left) and Ryan Lochte (middle) and Ricky Berens (right) and Michael Phelps (bottom) celebrate after winning the men's 4x200m freestyle relay finals during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
For the first time in the London Games, NBC's Olympic primetime hasn't set a ratings record for a Summer Games staged outside the U.S.
NBC's Monday primetime coverage drew a 20.1 overnight rating, which translates to 20.1% of households in the 56 urban markets measured for overnights.
That 20.1% is down 5% from comparable coverage of 2008 Beijing Olympic action that, because of time zone differences and swim events held in morning hours, allowed live coverage in the East and Central time zones. That live action in 2008 included three American swimmers winning gold medals and the U.S. men's gymnastic team taking a bronze.
Monday's 20.1 overnight was, however, up 3% from comparable coverage of the Athen Summer Games in 2004.
NBC, for the first time digitally carrying the Olympic world TV feed which covers every moment of every event, says through Monday it's had 143 million video streams. That's up 193% from Beijing in 2008, when NBC offered streams of just 25 of the 32 Olympic events and didn't offer live coverage of bits of action that are top U.S. TV draws, which it holds for primetime TV coverage.
TiVo is tracking the events that are most-replayed by U.S. viewers. If that data is a good indicator of viewer interest, you can see why NBC tailors its coverage to an American audience - just as networks around the globe tailor their coverage to their nationality. TiVo says the Monday's five most-replayed events all involved U.S. stars, topped by Missy Franklin's win in the 100-meter backstroke.
Olympic viewing interest is traditionally higher in the West. The markets with the top local TV ratings for Monday primetime were Salt Lake, where 27.6% of households tuned in, and Denver, with 25.9%.
Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY