It's no secret that Americans took to tweeting en masse to bitch about NBC's failure to cover the London Olympics to the Twittersphere's liking, but that didn't stop far more Americans from watching NBC's efforts — tape delays, glaring jingoism, and Bob Costas' rumored facelift aside. According to Nielsen, a record-smashing 219.4 million Americans tuned in to watch Gabby and Michael and Usain compete, making the London Games the most-viewed event in U.S. television history. Here's a look at some numbers underpinning NBC's success:
Total number of U.S. viewers of NBC's London Olympics coverage
Total number of U.S. viewers of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the previous record-holder
Hours of Olympics coverage NBC broadcast over 17 days
Hours of U.S. TV coverage of the Beijing Olympics
Channels that NBC Universal used to broadcast the games, including NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, two HD-enabled channels, and a 3D channel.
U.S. viewers of the London Games opening ceremonies, an Olympic record
Comments about the opening ceremonies on Twitter and other social media, according to Bluefin Labs
U.S. viewers of the London Olympics closing ceremonies
Average U.S. viewership of London Olympics during prime time
Average U.S. viewership of the Beijing Games during prime time, 12 percent less than this year
Americans who watched the 2012 Grammy Awards
Americans who watched the 2012 Oscars
Americans who tuned in to watch President Obama being sworn in on Jan. 20, 2011
Americans who watched Ronald Reagan's first inauguration in 1981
U.S. viewers of Princess Diana's funeral in 1997
U.S. viewers of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding in 2011
U.S. viewers of NBC's debut of its show Animal Practice, aired at the tail end of the London Games closing ceremonies
U.S. viewers of the series premier of TLC's Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, featuring "Georgia's backyard version of the Olympics: the 'Redneck Games.'"
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