NEW YORK (AP) -- The London Olympics appear to be off to a strong start for NBC.
The Nielsen company's overnight ratings for Friday night's opening ceremony were 7 percent better than the Beijing opener in 2008. On the basis of Nielsen's measurement of the nation's biggest cities, it was the best-rated opening ceremony ever for any summer or winter Olympics held off American soil.
The Beijing opening ceremony reached slightly fewer than 36 million people. Nielsen's estimate of how many people watched Friday night is expected on Saturday afternoon.
The strong ratings came despite -- or perhaps because of -- complaints about NBC not streaming the ceremony live online.