NBC’s coverage of the opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on Friday scored a 16.5 rating in metered-market households, down 28 percent from London 2012 and marking the lowest overnight number since Barcelona 1992 (which also mustered a 16.5).
Final numbers have Friday’s ceremony drawing 26.5 million total viewers, down 35 percent from London’s opening ceremony (which set a record with 40.7 million people tuning in). Previous summer games’ opening galas delivered 34.9 million (Beijing 2008), 25.4 mil (Athens 2004) 27.3 mil (Sydney 2000), 39.7 mil (Atlanta 1996) and 21.6 mil (Barcelona 1992).
NBC’s broadcast of the Rio kick-off was hampered by a modest time delay, 30 minutes of pre-show (bloating the proceedings to more than four-and-a-half hours) and a stupendous amount of commercial breaks (eight within the first 65 minutes, by one count). On the flip-side, you had Gisele Bündchen in that liquid metal dress.