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Reuters, Published February 08 2014

Early ratings: Sochi opening ceremony down from Vancouver, up from Torino

The Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Sochi was down slightly from the 2010 ceremony in Vancouver, but up from the last opening that wasn’t aired live in the U.S.

Friday’s Sochi opening had an overnight rating of an 18.5 and a 30 share for NBC in metered markets. The rating was up 26 percent from the 14.7 for the non-live opening of the Torino Winter Olympics in 2006.

Sochi was off 8 percent from the live telecast of the 2010 Vancouver Opening Ceremony, which had a 20.0/33.

Snowy locales were the biggest markets for the Opening Ceremony. It was most watched in Minneapolis, then Salt Lake City, Ft. Myers, Fla. (an exception to the rule), Chicago, and Boston.

The spectacle (pictured), which featured dancing horses, giant outlines of winter athletes, and lots of ballet, spun through 1,000 years of Russian history.