×

PyeongChang Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony Draws 28.3 Million Viewers

UPDATED: NBC Sports estimates that 28.3 million viewers watched Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony on Friday with the streaming audience factored in.

NBC said the live stream of the ceremony at 6 a.m. ET and views initiated via NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app simultaneous to the taped-delay primetime telecast added up to an average minute audience of 449,000. The linear NBC telecast from 8 p.m.-11:02 p.m. ET averaged 27.8 million viewers.

NBC noted the total streaming audience for the opening ceremony more than doubled the turnout of 181,000 for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Games in Rio, Brazil. NBC is reporting the live streaming numbers as average-minute audience in an effort to make them as compatible with linear ratings as possible.

Among the Olympic kickoff ceremonies that have aired on tape-delay since 1992, PyeongChang ranks No. 3 behind CBS’ Lillehammer coverage in 1994 (33.8 million) and 2014 in Sochi (31.7 million).

“The Opening Ceremony was a terrific show, which we hope will only be topped by the excitement generated by the athletes and competition over the next few weeks,” said Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Broadcasting and Sports. “The early consumption results show that our multiple platform strategy is dominating the media landscape.”

PREVIOUSLY: NBC’s linear coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea delivered a solid crowd on Friday night.

According to Nielsen’s overnight numbers, the primetime telecast of the Parade of Nations ceremony grabbed a 16.9 household rating and 29 share. That’s off 8.6% from the 2014 opening ceremony from Sochi, Russia, which averaged an 18.5/30 in the overnights in February 2014.

The preliminary overnight ratings do not include viewership from live streaming, which is sure to boost the overall audience. NBCUniversal has once again invested huge resources in making the Olympics available to viewers via live streaming in a nod to the fact that many viewers now prefer on-demand platforms. Streaming numbers for the Opening Ceremony were not immediately available.

NBC noted that the PyeongChang ceremony’s linear ratings narrowly topped viewership of the opening of the summer games in Rio, Brazil in 2014 (16.5/30). On Friday, as usual with Olympics coverage, NBC easily beat the combined ratings of its Big Four competition. And the overnight number marked the highest ratings in primetime for any network on a Friday since the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Viewership peaked from 9 p.m.-9:15 p.m. ET when Team USA entered the stadium.

The top local markets for Friday’s primetime coverage:

  • Salt Lake City (29.6/55)
  • Denver (27.4/51)
  • San Diego (25.1/49)
  • Seattle (24.0/46)
  • Sacramento (23.4/45)
  • Portland (23.0/44)
  • San Francisco (21.1/46)
  • Los Angeles (20.9/41)
  • West Palm Beach (20.0/31)
  • Buffalo (19.8/31)

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • TV News Roundup: 'Silicon Valley' Final

    TV News Roundup: 'Silicon Valley's' Final Season Sets October Premiere Date

    In today’s roundup, “Silicon Valley” returns to HBO on Oct. 27 and Quibi greenlights a new cooking competition show “Dismantled.” DATES The fifth season of Netflix‘s “Peaky Blinders” will premiere on the streamer Oct. 4. The newest season will continue to follow one gangster family in the lawless streets of Birmingham, UK during the midst [...]

  • Peter Fonda Dead: 'Easy Rider' Star

    Peter Fonda, Star of 'Easy Rider,' Dies at 79

    Two-time Oscar nominee Peter Fonda, who became a counterculture icon when he co-wrote, produced and starred in seminal 1969 road movie “Easy Rider,” then showed Hollywood he could act about three decades later in “Ulee’s Gold,” died on Friday from lung cancer at his home in Los Angeles. He was 79. His sister Jane Fonda [...]

  • CineLink Drama Brings High-End Series to

    CineLink Drama Brings High-End Series to Sarajevo

    When the organizers of the Sarajevo Film Festival’s CineLink Industry Days surveyed the local TV landscape several years ago, they recognized the chance to make an impact. “We decided five years ago that we need to do something,” says CineLink industry coordinator Armin Hadzic. “The [regional] TV and public broadcasters were coming from another age.” [...]

  • SCHOOLED - ABC's "Schooled" stars Bryan

    'Kids Are Alright' Creator Joins 'Schooled' Season 2 as Showrunner

    Tim Doyle is taking over as showrunner and executive producer on the upcoming second season of “Schooled” at ABC, Variety has confirmed. Doyle takes over from Season 1 showrunner and series co-creator Marc Firek, who has exited the series to focus on development. The news comes just months after Doyle’s 1970s-set comedy series, “The Kids [...]

  • Matthew Miller'Lethal Weapon' TV series screening,

    'Lethal Weapon' Team Lands Put Pilot Order at Fox for Cop Drama 'Dead Eddie' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Matt Miller and Alex Taub are staying in business with Fox. The pair, who previously worked together on Fox’s series adaptation of “Lethal Weapon,” have scored a put pilot commitment at the broadcaster for a new drama project, Variety has learned exclusively. The drama is titled “Dead Eddie.” In the series, after a near-death experience, misanthropic [...]

  • Krypton Syfy

    'Krypton' Canceled After Two Seasons at Syfy, Network Not Moving Forward on 'Lobo' Spinoff

    “Krypton” has been canceled after two seasons at Syfy. In addition, the NBCUniversal cabler is not moving ahead with a planned “Lobo” spinoff. “Krypton,” set two generations before the destruction of Superman’s titular home planet, follows Superman’s grandfather Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe) as a young man faced with saving his home planet or letting it be [...]

  • Alexis Martin Woodall

    Alexis Martin Woodall Named President of Ryan Murphy Productions

    Longtime producer Alexis Martin Woodall has been tapped to become the president of Ryan Murphy Productions, giving her oversight of the Netflix-based company. As president, Woodall will manage Murphy’s company, continuing to be hands on in executive producing its TV productions and producing its films. “Alexis is brazen, sharp and incisive — qualities that have [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content