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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS

NBC Claims Record for Opening Ceremonies

July 22, 1996|LARRY STEWART

The first night of Olympic competition Saturday drew a 17.2 national rating and a 37 share, giving NBC averages of 20.5 and 41 after two nights.

The national rating for the opening ceremonies, not available until Sunday, was a 23.6, considerably lower than the 27.2 overnight rating. An overnight rating represents the average for the nation's 33 largest markets and is available sooner than a national rating.

The 23.6 national rating for the opening ceremonies was not as high as the 23.9 ABC got for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. But because there are now more television households, NBC declared Friday night's opening ceremonies the most-watched in history, drawing an estimated 84 million U.S. viewers.

Also, NBC says Friday night's show, at 4 hours 38 minutes, was nearly an hour longer than the 1984 show, which lasted 3:42.

The national rating for the opening ceremonies four years ago in Barcelona was a 13.8.

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