Coverage of the Olympics opening ceremony on NBC in America proved to be a hit for the broadcaster.

According to reports the NBC telecast of the event drew a massive 40 million viewers across the four-hours it was broadcast! That makes the London 2012 opening ceremony the highest rated non-American opening ceremony in US television history. The opening ceremony of the Beijing games drew 34 million viewers in 2008.

So how do the massive ratings for NBC compare to BBC One’s ratings in the UK? Well an average audience of 22.4 million viewers tuned in on Friday evening with a peak audience of 27 million viewers.

Friday’s opening ceremony was crafted by Danny Boyle and reportedly cost around £27 million which has caused some controversy in the UK. However, the UK press reaction to the ceremony has, for the most part, been positive. Praise was particular heaped on segments involving Daniel Craig as the iconic character of James Bond and Rowan Atkinson as his comedy character of Mr. Bean.

Reaction on social networking sites throughout the ceremony and after on the whole seems positive although performances by Sir Paul McCartney and others did draw some criticism.

To find out more about the reaction in the UK, around the world and on social networking sites read our Word on the Web feature.

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