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Ch.2 Olympic Rate Tops Beijing Opening


So much for that WBEN poll that suggested Western New Yorkers weren’t all that interested in the London Olympic Games.

The spectacular opening ceremonies Friday night directed by Danny Boyle of “Slumdog Millionaire” fame had a 20.9 overnight rating on Channel 2, which was slightly higher than the 20.1 the NBC affiliate had four years ago for the spectacular opening ceremonies in Beijing.

English: Danny Boyle at the 2008 Toronto Inter...

Danny Boyle: He Delivers Spectacular and Complex Opening

As impressive as it is to get 20.9 percent of area households watching a four-hour tape-delayed telecast, the rating only placed Buffalo 43rd among the big city markets measured overnight.

Nationally, NBC said it was its best opening ceremony overnight rating for an Olympics outside of the United States. The national overnight rating of 23.0 higher was 7 percent higher than the 21.5 overnight rating in Beijing and 15 percent higher than the 20.0 rating for the 2012 Winter Games in Vancouver. San Diego was the top-rated market with a 27.8 rating and the Top 20 averaged a 23.8 rating or higher.

The national rating for all markets was a 21.0,  12 percent higher than the 18.8 national rating for Beijing. NBC said Friday’s opening ceremony was the most-watched for a Summer Games in 50 years, even topping the opening of the Atlanta Games in 1996. That doesn’t make London the highest-rated. (A rating point is equal to more households annually because of population increases.) 

I watched CTV’s live afternoon coverage that started at 4 p.m. because I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay up until midnight to watch NBC’s coverage. I went to a movie, came home and stayed up until 1 a.m. speeding through NBC’s coverage on my DVR to get to the highlights (I knew where they were by watching CTV and wasn’t about to sit through the parade of nations again) to see the differences in the coverage.

NBC’s team of Bob Costas, Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira did a much better job explaining what was going on in Boyle’s complex show than the CTV team of Brian Williams and Lisa LaFlamme. Of course, NBC’s team threw out more superlatives than the Canadians did about the show, Queen Elizabeth’s humorous cameo with James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Paul McCartney’s “Hey Jude” finish after what they called his shaky nervous start. NBC’s graphics also identified Kenneth Branagh, a brilliant actor who might not exactly be a household name in the States (especially since he was in a costume), and “Harry Potter” writer J.K. Rowling.

On the downside, were all those NBC commercials and Channel 2 promos. It’s a small price to pay for getting to watch these games on free TV. And thanks to my DVR, they weren’t a problem for me Friday.

As expected, NBC also showcased Ryan Seacrest as an “Olympics correspondent” and he did a decent job interviewing swimmer Michael Phelps and two young American female gymnasts who weren’t the easiest to interview.

I’ll have more thoughts on the Olympic coverage on Monday.






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