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The Olympics closing ceremony earned 27.2 million average viewers for NBC, a whopping 39% increase from the Athens closer four years ago. The night earned a 15.2 household rating (28 share; 6.9 rating among adults 18 to 49 in prime), a 15% bump from Athens. In both measures, the ceremony from Beijing was the best audience delivery for a non-U.S. Summer Games closer since Montreal in 1976.
NBCs’s coverage managed to make room for one last gasp of volleyball during the evening, then segued into the closing ceremony from the Birds Nest. Director Zhang Yimou’s artistic production (the first half, at least) seemed modest compared to the opener, with drummers in bicycle helmets, girls in sleigh-bell collars doing jumping jacks and glow-in-the-dark art cars seemingly borrowed from Burning Man.
ABC (averaging 4.5 million, 1.5/4) and CBS (averaging 5.6 million, 1.5/4) tied for second, largely airing repeats. Fox was fourth with repeats (averaging 2.8 million, 1.2/3).
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