NBC said Nielsen Media Research ratings showed that 104 million viewers in the United States tuned in to some part of
the first two days of its Olympic Games coverage from Salt Lake City.
The first two days of coverage (including the opening ceremony Friday, Feb.
8, and the first day of competition the following day) averaged a 21.5 prime
time national household rating and a 36 share, a 45 percent gain over the first
two nights of CBS' coverage of the Nagano, Japan, games four years ago.
NBC's coverage of the opening ceremony Friday drew a record 25.5 household
rating and a 42 share. The network said it was the highest rating ever for
either a Winter or Summer Olympics opening ceremony.
The previous high for day-one coverage was the opening ceremony for the Los
Angeles Summer Games in 1984, which averaged a 23.9/48.
NBC said 72 million viewers tuned to some part of Friday's coverage.
On Saturday (Feb. 9), the first night of competition, NBC averaged a 17.4/30
in prime time, beating ABC, CBS and Fox combined by 29 percent.
It was NBC's best Saturday-night ratings performance
since the Atlanta Olympics in July 1996.