London Olympics "most-watched" TV event in U.S. history, NBC says

A general view of the stadium and Olympic park during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on Aug. 12, 2012. Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

A general view of the stadium and Olympic park during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games on Aug. 12, 2012, in London.
Getty

(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - NBCUniversal says the London Olympics won ratings gold.

The company is calling the 2012 Olympics "the most-watched television event in U.S. history."

Pictures: London Olympics closing ceremony
Complete Coverage: London 2012 Olympic Games

Citing Nielsen Co. ratings figures, NBCUniversal said Monday that more than 219 million viewers watched the Summer Games on NBC and numerous sister networks. This figure surpasses the 215 million who watched the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The company said NBC averaged a prime-time audience of 31 million, topping Summer Games viewerships in Beijing and in Athens in 2004.

Sunday's closing ceremony was seen by 31 million viewers.

Covering its 13th Olympics, NBCUniversal presented 5,535 hours of coverage across its TV and online channels.

The high ratings came even as the network drew criticism for waiting to show many of the events during primetime hours instead of airing them live.

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