The opening ceremony on primetime brought an overnight rating of 16.9, representing a drop of 8.6% from the 2014 Sochi Winter games, which experienced an opening ceremony television rating of 18.5.
Nevertheless, viewership was strong considering that the landscape has changed for TV the past four years, and that overnights do not measure the streaming numbers and the Nielsen ratings measure just the American viewership not the worldwide audience.
The ratings were the highest primetime overnight rating for any network since the Sochi games. Nielsen uses a percentage of households watching from 56 markets in the U.S. and comes up with their overnight average. That means 16.9% of the households in those markets watched the opening ceremonies Friday night.
Overnights for the Olympics also topped the 2016 opening ceremonies of the Rio Summer games that took in a rating of 16.5.
The overnight ratings not surprisingly close to tripled the combined ratings for top competitors CBS, Fox and ABC.
The Olympics are one of the most watched telecasts worldwide, thanks in part because of the massive efforts for production that are put into the broadcasting of the event.
The event in South Korea is no different as billions of dollars are spent on broadcasting it as it takes several weeks to cover and is telecast over different time zones.
Some of the numbers behind the games tell the story beginning with NBC planning 2,400 hours of coverage.
The estimated cost of these Olympic Games is $10 billion which is approximately Madagascar’s GDP, but is five times less than Sochi’s which is considered the costliest of all-time.
This year 2,295 athletes will compete with 244 coming from the U.S. which is the largest delegation of athletes in the history of the Olympic Winter Games.
The oldest competitor for the U.S. is Brian Gionta a hockey player who is 39.
Pyeongchang is just 50 miles from South Korea and North Korea’s demilitarized zone. The DMZ splits the two and runs for 160 miles.
National ads sales during the games will reach $900 million, while Super Bowl LII took in $500 million.
Athletes were expected to be delivered more than 110,000 condoms or approximately 37 per athlete.