Highest Olympic NBC TV ratings: San Diego and state capitols

Which U.S. cities are really into the Olympics? Think state capitols - and San Diego. Photo: Associated Press

SAN DIEGO, August 1, 2012 – The London Summer Olympic Games Opening Ceremony was viewed on television by more Americans than any previous Olympic opening ceremony in history. There were 40.7 million viewers Friday night. This is one million more people than watched the 1996 Atlanta Opening Ceremonies, the previous record holder.

Certain cities were especially enthusiastic about the beginning of the 2012 Games. The A.C. Nielsen Company reported the following ratings for the Opening Ceremonies, listing the Top 20 Cities where the Olympics were most popular Friday night, listing the rating number (representing the percentage of total television households in that city or market), and share (representing the percentage of households with TVs actually on in that city tuned in to NBC) from 8 p.m. – 12:02 a.m. ET/PT on Friday, July 27, 2012:

The Olympic Cauldron at the Opening Ceremonies. Photo: AP.

1. San Diego (KNSD) 27.8/49
T2. Washington D.C. (WRC) 26.8/48
T2. West Palm Beach (WPTV) 26.8/48
4. Salt Lake City (KSL) 26.6/50
5. Denver (KUSA) 26.4/51
6. Norfolk (WAVY) 26.3/42
7. Sacramento (KCRA) 25.4/47
T8. Kansas City 25.0/44 (KSHB)
T8. Richmond (WWBT) 25.0/41
10. Columbus (WCMH) 24.9/43
T11. Boston (WHDH) 24.8/45
T11. Indianapolis (WTHR) 24.8/45
13. Seattle (KING) 24.4/48
14. Los Angeles (KNBC) 24.2/44
15. Atlanta (WXIA) 24.1/39
T16. Philadelphia (WCAU) 24.0/40
T16. Jacksonville (WTLV) 24.0/39
T18. Austin (KXAN) 23.9/44
T18. Ft. Myers (WBBH) 23.9/43
20. Portland (KGW) 23.8/48

Swimmer Michael Phelps has been a big ratings draw. Photo: AP.

As the first nights of competition got underway, these are the cities with the highest TV ratings (8:30-11:28 p.m. ET/PT)

1. Salt Lake City (KSL) 23.9/46
2. San Diego (KNSD) 22.8/43
3. Kansas City (KSHB) 22.4/42
4. Columbus (WCMH) 21.5/39
5. Ft. Myers (WBBH) 21.3/40
6. Milwaukee (WTMJ) 20.6/38
7. Denver (KUSA) 20.5/44
8. Indianapolis (WTHR) 20.4/39
9. Sacramento (KCRA) 20.2/41
10. Nashville (WSMV) 19.6/34
11. Oklahoma City (KFOR) 19.2/32
12. St. Louis (KSDK) 18.9/35
13. Richmond (WWBT) 18.7/33
14. Portland (KGW) 18.5/41
T15. San Francisco (KNTV) 18.4/40
T15. Boston (WHDH) 18.4/36
T17. Norfolk (WAVY) 18.3/30
T17. Albuquerque (KOB) 18.3/34
T17. Jacksonville (WTLV) 18.3/31
20. Phoenix (KPNX) 18.1/32

Speaking as a third-generation native daughter of San Diego, it is no surprise to find out San Diegans are especially enthusiastic about cheering on their Olympic competitors.

San Diego is home to more Olympic athletes in London than any other city in the United States, and the location of the ARCO Olympic Training Center. Photo: USA Olympics

What makes San Diegans so enthusiastic about the Olympics? More Olympians call San Diego home on the 2012 American team in London than any other city in the United States. Blessed with weather perfection, it is the home of one of the nation’s Olympic Training Centers, where athletes train in archery, rowing, BMX bicycling, and numerous other sports. Residents enjoy a more active lifestyle than many other parts of the country.

Runner-up Salt Lake City is also one of the U.S.’s most healthy and active cities, and it played host to the Winter Olympic Games in 2002. No surprise that its residents are also enthusiastic about the London Games.

Another odd statistics about these lists: a larger than expected percentage of these cities are state capitols: Columbus, Denver, Indianapolis, Sacramento, Nashville, Oklahoma City, Richmond, Boston, Jacksonville, Phoenix, and Austin. Bored legislators?


Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She writes on professional cycling and covers the Sweet Science for Communities, along with other news in the sports world. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.


Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities at WashingtonTimes.com” when quoting from or linking to this story.   


Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.


Contact Gayle Falkenthal


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