The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver got off to a record start, as 67.5 million viewers across the country tuned in for the opening ceremony Friday.
The NBC telecast, featuring performances by Bryan Adams and Sarah McLachlan among others, was the most-watched opening ceremony ever for a non-U.S. Winter Olympics. Vancouver beat the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino by 17 million viewers and the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer — the previous record holder — by 6 million viewers.
Friday's opening ceremony averaged 32.6 million viewers, 47 percent more than watched the Torino games. In terms of average viewers, Vancouver came in second to the 1994 Lillehammer games, which marked the widely publicized Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan scandal.
Vancouver had fewer overall viewers than the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, which captured 69.9 million viewers and an average of 34.2 million viewers. Beijing's opening ceremony is the most-watched ever in a non-U.S. city.