By DAVID BAUDER, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — The weekly television ratings competition was no competition with the start of the Summer Olympics.
Friday's opening ceremony drew more than 40 million viewers for NBC, numbers that were about the same as for the Grammy and Academy awards ceremonies this year, and far more than anything else on U.S. television this summer, Nielsen said.
The first two nights of competition that followed had NBC getting bigger audiences than they had in the Beijing Olympics four years ago, Nielsen said.
For the week, NBC averaged 19 million viewers in prime time (10.4 rating, 18 share). CBS was a distant second, averaging 4.6 million (3.0, 5), Fox had 3.6 million (2.1, 4), ABC had 3.5 million (2.3, 4), ION Television had 1 million (0.7, 1) and the CW had 620,000 (0.4, 1).
Among the Spanish-language networks, Univision led with 3.4 million viewers (1.8, 3), Telemundo had 1.4 million (0.8, 1), TeleFutura had 510,000 (0.3, 0), Estrella had 170,000 and Azteca 100,000 (both 0.1, 0).
NBC's "Nightly News" topped the evening newscasts with an average of 8.5 million viewers (5.7, 12). ABC's "World News" was second with 7.2 million (4.9, 10) and the "CBS Evening News" had 6 million viewers (4.1, 8).
A ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.
For the week of July 23-29, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: "Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony," NBC, 40.65 million; "Summer Olympics" (Sunday), NBC, 36.05 million; "Summer Olympics" (Saturday), NBC, 28.72 million; "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday), NBC, 10.43 million; "America's Got Talent" (Wednesday), NBC, 8.76 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 7.88 million; "NCIS," CBS, 7.22 million; "Wipeout" (Thursday), ABC, 6.85 million; "Two and a Half Men" (Thursday), CBS, 6.64 million; "Hell's Kitchen" (Monday), Fox, 6.46 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox and My Network TV are units of News Corp. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks. TeleFutura is a division of Univision. Azteca America is a wholly owned subsidiary of TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.