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NEW YORK, February 09, 4:27 /ITAR-TASS/. Some 31.7 million viewers in the United States watched the official opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi, making it the second most watched non-live Winter Games opening ceremony in US history.
NBC television network, which has exclusive media rights for the current Olympics broadcast in the United States, reported that the rating of Sochi non-live broadcast viewers exceeded the figure of the last European Olympic Winter Games in Italy’s Turin in 2006 by 33 percent.
“It’s an early sign that our strategy of emphasizing primetime viewing is working, and we’re excited for the competition over the next two weeks,” he said commenting on the broadcast, which was aired in the United States in prime time on Saturday night with over eight hours after the opening ceremony officially began in Russia.
The record number of viewers of Winter Games non-live broadcast in the United States was registered in 1994, when some 33.8 million people watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Norway’s Lillehammer. The broadcast was provided by CBS television network at that time.
The opening ceremony of the previous Winter Olympic Games in Canada’s Vancouver in 2010 was aired in the United States live by NBC and gained the audience of 32.7 million.
NBC was earlier reported to pay some $775 million for media rights to broadcast the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, which run in the Russian Black Sea resort city between February 7 and 23.