August 13th, 2012
04:01 PM ET
Call it #NBCfail if you want to, but the combined networks of NBC Universal managed to turn the London 2012 Olympics into the most-watched event in U.S. television history, according to the number-crunchers at the Nielsen Company.
More than 219 million Americans watched the Games over 5,535 hours of broadcasting on NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, two specialty channels and NBCOlympics.com, Nielsen data show.
"For 17 days, NBCUniversal has surrounded the American viewer with the London Olympics, which have now become the most-watched event in U.S. television history," Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group, said in a release. "There are thousands of dedicated and talented people in London and New York who take great pride in being part of these historic Games and this television milestone."
NBC's online Olympic coverage set records with nearly 2 billion page views and 159 million video streams, according to NBC Sports.
Undoubtedly the sizable audience tuned in to see a ceremony filled with contributions from the likes of The Who, Muse, George Michael, Fatboy Slim and even The Spice Girls. The Hollywood Reporter called the show a "Brit-pop orgy" in its review, noting that the festivities offered something "for every generation of the past half-century or more."
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