BEIJING, Aug. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Two days into the
2008 Olympic Games, NBC Universal said its average number of viewers is 29.1
million, the most highly rated broadcast of the Summer Games held outside the
United States since 1976.
A total of 114 million viewers turned on their TVs
for at least part of the broadcast in the first two days, about 20 million more
than the 2004 games in Athens, NBC said, citing figures from Nielsen Media
Viewership was helped by the extravant opening
ceremony and early coverage of U.S. swimming star Michael Phelps.
Swimming was among the events NBC Universal insisted
be scheduled so it could air during prime time, partly because of the interest
in swimming sensation Phelps.
NBC Universal credited his appearance on Saturday
with helping lift that evening's average audience to 24.1 million viewers,
beating the equivalent night in Athens by nearly 4.5 million viewers.