2008 Beijing Olympics Set Global TV Mark

Nielsen: 4.7B viewers watched some portion of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Nielsen Media Research said the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games drew the largest global TV audience in history.

According to the company, between the Aug. 8 opening ceremonies and the extinguishing of the flame Aug. 24, 4.7 billion viewers, or 70% of everybody on the planet, watched some portion of the Games.

That topped the previous record of 3.9 billion for the 2004 Athens Games.

The Chinese share was the sort of number network programmers can only dream of, with 94% of the nation's most populous country tuning in.

It was also the most-viewed show in U.S. TV history, with 211 million watching some portion of the Games and an average daily audience of 27 million, Nielsen said.