The London Summer Olympics have wrapped up without any security incidents and with a medal count that puts the U.S. on the top of the heap with 46 gold, 29 silver, and 29 bronze. But did people watch the Games? I guess it helps viewership when your country is doing well and can even overcome criticism that many events were shown here on tape delay to notch them into primetime. A roundup from Bloomberg:
Daytime weekday viewership of the London Olympics has averaged 7.1 million, a 31 percent jump from 2008 and a record for non-U.S. Summer Games, NBC Universal said.
The audience totaled 212.7 million as of Aug. 10, making it the second-most watched event in U.S. television history, NBC said in an e-mailed statement today. With the closing ceremony tonight, the London Games can surpass the 215 million viewers of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, said NBC, a unit of Comcast Corp.
"Every weekday daytime telecast from the London Olympics has topped the viewership of the comparable day in Beijing," the network said in the statement.
NBC said 5.4 million U.S. viewers watched the daytime coverage in Beijing, the fourth-best weekday audience for non- U.S. Summer Games. Barcelona ranked second in 1992 with average viewership of 5.9 million, while Seoul was third in 1988 with 5.5 million.
Primetime coverage of the Olympics averaged 31.1 million viewers in the first 16 nights, the most of any non-U.S. Summer Olympics since Montreal in 1976, according to NBC.
NBC paid north of a billion dollars for the rights to air the Olympics in the U.S.
It's not surprising that, despite empty seats at some venues, a certain sport broke attendance records in the good old U.K.:
Attendance for the men's and women's soccer tournaments at the London Games set an Olympic record on Saturday after 86,162 fans saw Mexico beat Brazil in the men's final at Wembley Stadium.
That crowd took the cumulative total for the 32 men's and 26 women's matches to 2,186,930 - bettering the previous record set in Beijing four years ago when 2,137,462 watched the tournament.
In all 1,525,134 watched the men's games compared to 1,397,448 in Beijing and 740,014 watched the women's matches there compared to 661,796 here.
An Olympic and European record attendance of 80,203 for a women's match was set when the United States played Japan in the final at Wembley on Thursday.