The athletes weren’t the only ones winning gold at this year’s Olympics. NBC also scored big with record ratings, as the London Games became the most watched event in TV history. According to Nielsen, more than 219.4 million Americans tuned in, besting the 2008 Beijing Games, which brought in a respectable 215 million viewers. And it wasn’t just the prime-time events that saw a boost. Viewership for NBC’s daytime shows increased by more than 2 million, compared with the 2008 Games, and live streams of the events reached 159.3 million. In the U.K., the BBC announced that the opening and closing ceremonies alone became two of the most watched TV programs ever (it estimated that 90.4% of the population tuned in for at least part of the Games). Perhaps the closing ceremony got a boost from the much anticipated performance by the Spice Girls, who made comeback of their own this year. Either way, the 2016 Games have a lot to live up to.
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