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Olympics Strike Gold in TV Ratings

Vancouver Games up 16 percent from 2006 Turin ratings

By Caitlin Millat
|  Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010  |  Updated 2:15 PM PDT
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The snow may be cold in Vancouver -- but TV ratings for this year's Olympic Games are heating up.

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The snow may be cold in Vancouver -- but TV ratings for this year's Olympic Games are heating up.

NBC is scoring big with the 2010 Winter Olympics, seeing a ratings surge of 16 percent from the 2006 Games in Turin, Italy, according to Nielsen figures.

32.6 million viewers tuned in to watch the Vancouver opening ceremonies, which included appearances from legendary Canadian athletes Wayne Gretzky and Steve Nash as well as a somber moment of silence for a fallen Georgian luger who died during a practice run.

Only 22.2 million watched the opening ceremonies for the Turin games, according to Nielsen.

The Vancouver Games also saw a significant jump in younger viewers; ratings among men aged 18-to-34 were up 19 percent, Nielsen reported.

NBC executives said they were "thrilled" by the Games' success.

The Olympics are the latest in a flurry of events that have attracted large television crowds -- the Super Bowl this month set a record for the most-watched television event ever, while the Grammy Awards and Golden Globes both saw a dramatic jump in viewers.

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