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February 13, 2010 at 11:37 AM

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Seattle leads nation in NBC Opening Ceremony ratings

Posted by Ron Judd

Way to go, Seattle.

You either loved NBC's interminably delayed coverage of the Olympic Opening Ceremony -- or you wanted to see it so badly you were willing to wait for all those knee-slapping one-liners from Matt Lauer.

Just-released numbers show the Seattle area as the number one metered market for the ceremony, which NBC delayed, like most of its other Olympic coverage, to the West Coast of the U.S. by three hours.

Total viewership was about 67.5 million, which is 17 million more than Torino in 2006 and nearly 6 million more than the previous Winter Games record, the Tonya-Nancy-fueled Lillehammer Games in 1994.

Overall, NBC's coverage drew a national rating of 17.3 and a share of 30, meaning 17.3 percent of televisions in the market were tuned in to the Olympics, and 30 percent of the people actually watching TV at the time were tuned in to the Olympics.

But some markets, including Seattle, did significantly better. Here's the list from NBC, the numbers representing rating/share:

TOP 20 METERED MARKETS FOR OPENING CEREMONY:
1. Seattle, 25.9/47
2. Milwaukee, 25.8/43
3. Denver, 25.4/44
4. St. Louis, 23.7/40
5. West Palm Beach, 23.3/35
6. Cleveland, 23.1/38
7. Salt Lake City, 22.3/39
8. Columbus, 21.8/37
9. Ft. Myers, 21.4/ 34
10. Detroit, 21.1/34
11. Portland, 21.1/39
12. Providence, 21.0/36
T13. Richmond, 20.9/33
T13. Baltimore, 20.9/32
15. Sacramento, 20.6/38
16. San Francisco, 20.3/39
T17. Boston, 20.2/36

The show was the "most-watched Opening Ceremony ever for a non-U.S. Winter Olympics," according to NBC.

And here, for you true ratings fanatics, are the ratings by time zone:

METERED MARKET RATINGS BY TIME ZONE:
Mountain Time Zone 21.2/36
Pacific Time Zone 19.8/36
Eastern Time Zone 18.9/31
Central Time Zone 18.6/30

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Blog roll and links

www.olympic.org: The official International Olympic Committtee site, with news releases, a searchable Olympic medals database and other archival information.
www.nbcolympics.com: Olympic news site from one of the Games' primary sponsors.
NBC Olympics columnist Alan Abrahamson's column/blog
Chicago Tribune Olympic sports writer Philip Hersh's blog
www.usolympicteam.com: U.S. Olympic Committee's athlete web site.
www.aroundtherings.com: Ed and Sheila Hula's Olympic News Service (subscription).
www.wcsn.com: News service with audio, video and text coverage of Olympic sports, during and between Olympics. Free, but charges for live video feed subscriptions.
www.beijing2008.com: Beijing Organizing Committee Web site.
www.vancouver2010.com: Vancouver Organizing Committee's 2010 Winter Games site.
www.london2012.com: London 2012 Summer Games site.
www.sochi2014.com: Sochi, Russia's 2014 Winter Games site.
www.chicago2016.org: Candidate city Chicago's summer 2016 bid committee site.
Olympic swimmer Tara Kirk's highly entertaining WCSN blog
Bellevue Olympian Scott Macartney's WCSN alpine ski-racing blog
Other WCSN Olympic athlete blogs.