NBC Posts Highest Ratings Ever for a Non-U.S. Olympics Opening Ceremony

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An inflatable yellow submarine floats above artists performing during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 at the Olympic stadium in London.
DV1222890 Photo: Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images

NBC's $1.18 billion deal to exclusively air the Olympics may already be paying off, with overnight ratings for last night's opening ceremony in London topping those for the 2008 Beijing opener by eight percent, making it the most-watched non-U.S. Olympics kick-off ever. According to numbers provided by NBC, the opening ceremony coverage earned a 23.0 rating — meaning just under a quarter of U.S. households tuned in — with an overall 40 percent share of American eyeballs. In other news, Comcast, NBC Universal's parent company, now says it has already (nearly) recouped its Olympic fee, which means this may actually be one of the first truly lucrative Olympics for a U.S. network ever.