The Vancouver Olympics opening ceremony was the most-watched television event ever in Canada, Games organizers said.
Vancouver staged the first indoor opening ceremony and tapped Canada’s reserves of world-famous talent, like film actor Donald Sutherland to narrate with his signature deep voice and singers k.d. lang, who sang fellow Canadian Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” Bryan Adams and Nelly Furtado.
“It was the most watched TV event in history with over 13 million viewers,” Games spokeswoman Renee Smith-Valade told reporters. “It is a 29% increase from the previous record.”
The previous top rated program was the Olympic gold medal match between winners Canada and the United States at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, with just over 10 million viewers.
On average, 13.3 million Canadians watched the whole three-and-a-half hour ceremony at BC Place on Feb. 12.
Airing live across 11 television networks in 11 languages, 23 million viewers, or around two in every three Canadians, tuned in to some part of the ceremony, organizers said.