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Phelps gold, women gymnasts top opening ceremonies in NBC overnight ratings

Driven by gold for

Michael Phelps

and the women gymnastics team,

NBC

's prime-time coverage of the

Summer Olympics

Tuesday hit a new high in overnight ratings topping those earned by the record-setting opening ceremonies.

And maybe it's me, but the complaints in social media didn't seem quite as loud yesterday.

Or, maybe they were just drowned out by Phelps becoming the most decorated athlete in Olympics history.

I know I saw both Phelps events and some of the women gymnastics on live stream in real time Tuesday afternoon, but still wound up watching the tape-delay version through prime time. I wonder how many other viewers are doing that.

Here's the overnight notes from NBC Sports. With the margin this close, the opening ceremonies might wind up edging Tuesday out as the most watched night of the Olympics when the final numbers are in. But either way, Tuesday's numbers are still huge.

Again, Baltimore did not make the Top 20, which I still find puzzling despite Dan Joerres, WBAL-TV's general manager, telling me it's no big deal. Maybe not, but with Phelps evening of glory, you would think a higher percentage of viewers in Baltimore would be watching than, say, those in Washington.

But as you can see from the figures below, Washington finished 12th in percentage of viewing.

Last night NBC drew a 24.0 overnight rating and 38 share (8-11:45 p.m. ET/PT), the best overnight rating for the London Olympics to date, topping the Opening Ceremony by 4% (23.0/40).

Last night's overnight rating is the best for the first Tuesday night of any Non-U.S. Summer Olympics in history.

The 24.0/38 Overnight Rating 4% higher than Beijing (23.0/37, 12% higher than Athens (21.5/33), the Last European Olympics.

Tuesday's broadcast included: Michael Phelps becomes the most decorated Olympian ever, earning his 18th and 19th medals last night (silver in the 200m butterfly and gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay), and the "Golden Girls" (USA women's team) brought home gymnastics gold!

OVERNIGHTS FOR FIRST TUESDAY NIGHT (NON-U.S. SUMMER GAMES):

1. London - 2012

24.0/38 NBC

2. Beijing – 2008

23.0/37 NBC

3. Barcelona – 1992

22.6/38 NBC

4. Athens – 2004

21.5/33 NBC

5. Seoul – 1988

18.4/32 NBC

6. Sydney – 2000

17.7/29 NBC

OVERNIGHTS FOR FIRST TUESDAY NIGHT (U.S. SUMMER GAMES):

1. Atlanta – 1996

30.0/48 NBC

2. Los Angeles – 1984

 25.7/46 ABC

TOP 20 METERED MARKETS FOR FIRST TUESDAY NIGHT:

1. Salt Lake City

31.3/51

2. Indianapolis

29.2/46

3. Kansas City

28.9/44

4. Denver

28.8/51

5. Minneapolis

28.4/48

6. Milwaukee

28.0/45

7. Norfolk

27.5/40

8. Columbus

27.2/44

9. San Diego

26.7/45

10. Albuquerque

26.6/41

11. Richmond

26.4/39

12. Washington D.C.

26.3/45

13. Oklahoma City

26.1/40

14. West Palm Beach

25.9/42

15. New Orleans

25.6/35

16. Portland

25.5/48

T17. Atlanta

25.2/39

T17. Austin

25.2/42

T17. Tulsa

25.2/38

T20. Nashville

24.4/37

T20. San Antonio

24.4/35

HIGHEST RATED BY TIME ZONE (THROUGH FIRST TUESDAY):

Mountain            23.0/40

Pacific                   21.5/40

Central                 21.0/35

Eastern                 20.2/34

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