Hidden Decline in Olympics Viewership


Nielson reported today that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was the most watched world-television event in history, with 4.7 billion people – or 70% of the world’s population – tuning into at least some portion of the event. It has also been noted that it was the most-viewed television event in U.S. history.

But B&C editorial intern Richard Bellamy astutely caught a hidden decline in those lofty numbers.

After reading the release from Nielsen, Richard compared the total U.S. viewership to population figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. He found that while the 211 million viewers it attracted makes it the highest in terms of total viewership, viewership as a percentage of the population – 69% –  was below the record set by the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games when 209 million viewers, or 79% of the U.S. population, watched.

And that’s why we’ll all be working for him someday soon!

By Joel Topcik