NBC posted the highest numbers ever for an Olympics opening ceremony held outside the U.S., garnering a 23.0 rating and 40 share for the primetime telecast, according to preliminary results released Saturday morning by Nielsen.
The figures are 28% higher than NBC generated at the 2004 Athens Games and 7% higher than its Beijing festivities four years ago, which saw a splashy ceremony staged by the director Zhang Yimou.
Friday's events were overseen by the filmmaker
The network appears to have been aided by its controversial decision not to livestream the event and instead tape-delay it for prime time on both coasts.
Still, NBC could not top opening nights for U.S.-held games such as the 2002 Salt Lake City