09/24/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Olympics Ratings: Most Watched Event In Television History

The Beijing Olympics will be remembered by media executives as the most-viewed event in United States television history.

The Summer Games of 2008 were seen by a cumulative audience of 211 million Americans through Saturday, one day shy of Sunday's closing ceremonies, according to Nielsen Media Research. That number surpassed the 209 million who watched part of the Summer Games in Atlanta 12 years ago, NBC said on Sunday.

The cumulative figure counts any viewer who watched the Olympics on one of NBC's networks for six minutes or more. It amounts to more than two-thirds of the total United States population.

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