Mar 4, 2010 1:20 PM by Greg Boyce
The Vancouver Winter Games were the second most watched in history, surpassing even the Salt Lake City games.
190 million Americans watched the Vancouver Olympics on the networks of NBC Universal, ranking second only to the Lellehammer Games, which were fueld by the controversy surrounding Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding scandal.
"The Olympics have yet again proved the power of the big events on network television," said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics.
Most watched Winter Olympic Games:
1. Lillehammer, 1994, 204 million
2. Vancouver, 2010, 190 million
3. Salt Lake City, 2002, 187 million
Viewership was tied at 184 million for the Torino, Albertville and Nagano games from 2006, 1992 and 1998, respectively.
Through the 17 nights of the Vancouver Olympics, NBC drew more viewers than the other three major networks combined. The Vancouver Olympics averaged 24.4 million viewers in primetime, more than doubling Fox, tripling CBS and quadrupling ABC over that span.
"It's important to note how truly dominant our performance is because of the many choices available in the world today," said Ebersol. "At the time of the Lillehammer Games, the average home had less than 40 channels, but today the average home has 130, more than three times 1994, plus the Internet then was still in its infancy."