The Beijing Olympics on NBC turned out the largest viewing audience in American television history. Safe to say NBC's mission was accomplished.
NBC's Beijing coverage reached 214 million viewers during the event's 16-day run, according to US media reports, eclipsing the 209 million viewers who watched the the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.
The US network broadcast a record 3,600 hours of coverage from Beijing across its various multimedia outlets - including mobile and online - after paying $894m for the rights.
As it turns out, the top five most viewed television events in American history are Olympic events. The Beijing games are trailed by Atlanta '96, Lillehammer '94, Athens 2004, and Seoul '88. For some perspective on this year's viewership, the average primetime audience was 27.7 million people, up 11 percent from 2004.
Combined with the BBC, 250 million people tuned into at least 15 minutes of the Olympics across two countries. Yikes.Read More »from Final word on the Olympics ratings juggernaut