Entries in Olympics (8)


NBC Sets Record for Olympic Viewers

Oli Scarff/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- According to statistics from Nielsen, the London Olympics drew an Olympic-record 219 million unique viewers across all of NBC’s platforms, surpassing the 215 million who watched the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the 209 million who watched the Athens Games back in 2004, according to Variety.  NBC claims it was the most-watched event in TV history.

Over 17 days in primetime, the Olympic coverage averaged 31.1 million viewers, seen across NBC, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, NBC Sports Network and Telemundo, as well as online at  The opening ceremony was the most-watched event, picking up 41 million viewers.

Despite many complaints regarding NBC’s decision to air major events on tape delay, there appears to have been little in the way of damage to ratings, reports Variety.  NBC made the claim that even more people tuned in at the end of the day after they had discovered results via other sources.

The Olympic coverage had a positive effect for other NBC shows, including Today, Access Hollywood and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, which posted record viewing figures.  The highest-rated city during primetime was Salt Lake City.

NBC bid $4.3 billion for the rights to air the next four Olympic events, including the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Spice Girls Dazzle at London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony

Fred Duval/FilmMagic(LONDON) -- The closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics brought a dash of traditional British pomp and culminated with a number of performances by English pop and rock super stars and a show-stopper by the Spice Girls.

In contrast to director Danny Boyle’s divisive opening ceremony, which featured performances from Paul McCartney, rapper Dizzee Rascal and rockers the Arctic Monkeys, the closing event had the vibe of Britain’s famed and diverse music festivals.  It featured performances by 1980s pop mainstays Madness and the Pet Shop Boys, George Michael, modern rockers The Kaiser Chiefs, singer Annie Lennox and many more.

It was the reunited Spice Girls that made the biggest splash at Sunday night’s event, which was viewed by an estimated 300 million people around the world and 80,000 fans at Olympic Stadium.

Melanie Chisholm (“Sporty Spice”), Emma Bunton (“Baby Spice”), Melanie Brown (“Scary Spice”), Victoria Beckham (“Posh Spice”), and Geri Halliwell (“Ginger Spice”) arrived via multicolored taxis into the center of the stadium, the floor of which was arranged to resemble the Union Jack.

The reunited pop stars surprised audiences by performing a medley of their megahits “Wannabe” and “Spice Up Your Life” as they stood atop their taxis and circled the stadium, dazzling fans who helped make them one of the most popular worldwide acts of the late 1990s.

In addition to the aforementioned artists, London 2012′s closing ceremony also featured comic Eric Idle performing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” which was originally featured in the 1979 film Monty Python’s Life of Brian.  The track is a popular sing-along in the United Kingdom.

Many more acts turned up to perform at the stunning closing event, including One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Russell Brand, Fatboy Slim, Jessie J, Tinie Tempah, Taio Cruz, Liam Gallagher and Beady Eye, Take That, Muse, Bryan May, The Kinks’ Ray Davies, and The Who, performing hits “Baba O’Riley”, “See Me, Feel Me”, and “My Generation.”

At the end of the ceremony, London Mayor Boris Johnson passed the Olympic Flag to Rio de Janero’s Mayor Eduardo Paes.  The Brazilian city will host the 2016 summer games.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


America‚Äôs Olympic Athletes Rock to Pop, Hip-Hop to Prep for Games

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Olympic athletes must be focused and determined at all times as they perform under the intense pressure of the world’s eyes. So what kind of music helps motivate them?

From R&B and rap, to rock and pop, it’s different strokes for different folks. Rapper Jay-Z is the choice for basketball players, while runners seem to like Beyonce.

Gymnast Danell Layva has Drake and Lil Wayne, both rappers, on his playlist.  He told ABC News that the music helps calm him.

For many Olympians, blasting their favorite tunes is as much a part of the pre-game ritual as is slipping on their uniforms. Silver medalist diver Abby Johnson listens to Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville,” while shooter Amanda Furrer likes Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.” Track champion Lolo Jones likes headbanger rock.

For one member of the U.S. rowing team, something a little different is in order. “It’s the Olympics. My playlist was leaning a little bit toward the USA,” said coxswain Zach Vlahos. His choice? Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


2012 Olympics: NBC Accidentally Airs Water Polo Player's Breast

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sharp-eyed Olympics viewers might have caught a glimpse of a little more skin than they expected when watching women's water polo on Wednesday.

The site Deadspin was the first to catch the aquatic wardrobe malfunction. As the U.S. faced off against Spain, an underwater replay of a pair of players tussling showed U.S. player Kami Craig grabbing her opponent's swimsuit and accidentally exposing her breast.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Summer Games Score Olympian TV Numbers

MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Not surprisingly, the London Summer Olympics dominated the TV ratings in the past week.

The opening of the games, which featured an elaborate celebration of all things British -- including a parachuting James Bond and Queen Elizabeth II -- scored record numbers, and NBC's coverage of the Summer Games made up the top three of the top 10-rated shows for the week of July 23-29. 

Two installments of NBC's America's Got Talent came in at number four and five for the week.

Here are the top 10 primetime programs for the week of July 23-29, according to the Nielsen Company:

1. Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony, NBC, 40.65 million
2. Summer Olympics Coverage (Sunday), NBC, 36.05 million
3. Summer Olympics Coverage (Saturday), NBC, 28.72 million
4. America's Got Talent (Tuesday), NBC, 10.43 million
5. America's Got Talent (Wednesday), NBC, 8.76 million
6. The Big Bang Theory, CBS, 7.88 million
7. NCIS, CBS, 7.22 million
8. Wipeout (Thursday), ABC, 6.85 million
9. Two and a Half Men (Thursday), CBS, 6.64 million
10. Hell's Kitchen (Monday), Fox, 6.46 million

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NBC Sets Records for Olympic Coverage

MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- NBC’s coverage of Friday's opening ceremonies of the London Olympics averaged a record 40.7 million total viewers, according to the Nielsen Company, the Los Angeles Times reports.  The previous record was set at the 1996 Atlanta Games, which averaged 39.8 million viewers.

Friday’s night telecast averaged 17 percent more viewers than the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Games four years ago.

NBC’s first night of competition coverage on Saturday also set a record for viewers, 28.7 million, making it the most-watched opening night on record for a summer edition of the Olympics.  The audience was 20 percent larger than the first night of competition in Beijing in 2008 and 45 percent bigger than Athens in 2004.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ryan Seacrest and Matt Lauer: Face to Face on "Today"

Peter Kramer/NBC(NEW YORK) -- Ryan Seacrest announced on NBC's Today show Wednesday that he's joining the network's coverage of the summer Olympics. And while he was there, Seacrest also touched on rumors that he has been tapped to replace Matt Lauer when the Today anchor's contract expires next year.

Needless to say, things got interesting.

"Do you see yourself doing a job like this?" Lauer asked Seacrest.

"I don't know...I see you doing this as long as you want to," Seacrest responded, before turning the tables on Lauer.

"How long will you be on the Today show?" he asked.

Lauer said there was no tension between the two and that they recently had discussed the issue over dinner.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Russell Brand Draws Criticism for Paralympics Joke

Peter Kramer/NBC(LONDON) -- Russell Brand has upset some disabled athletes after making a joke about the Paralympic Games during a stand-up performance in London last week.

Britain's Daily Mail reports the brash British comedian, who's married to pop star Katy Perry, said he doesn't care about the Olympics because it's a waste of money.  He then added, "At least the Paralympics have some kind of novelty value or something."

London will host both the Olympics and the Paralympic Games next year.

The UK newspaper The People quotes multiple Paralympic athletes who say the joke was offensive and irresponsible.  One competitor says, "We’ve worked harder than anyone to get here.  We’ve suffered life-threatening illnesses.  It’s both patronizing and upsetting for Russell Brand to describe us as a novelty.”

Brand is shrugging off the controversy.  He's tweeted, "Daily Mail/People stop being silly."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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