Olympics pull the viewers

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New Zealanders hunkered down over a cold weekend to watch the start of the Rio Olympics. Figures from Nielsen show more than three quarters of a million people watched the opening ceremony on Saturday with more than 1.6 million watching over the weekend.

The 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony was watched by more than a million of us. With a much better time zone difference more than two million New Zealanders tuned in for the opening of the Sydney Games in 2000.

Beijing’s Opening Ceremony in 2008 attracted 953,000 kiwi viewers.

Nielsen says the most popular sport overall in the 2012 Olympics was athletics reaching an audience of 2.3 million, followed by swimming and rowing, at around 2.1 million each. More than three quarters of a million people tuned in to watch the rowing where New Zealand won three gold medals.

Based on the Nielsen and BrandAdvantage New Zealand Sports Report, the Summer Olympics have the highest level of fans at 67%, Rugby Union (63%) and Rugby League and Cricket (both at 54%).

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