IOC Proclaims 2012 The Most Viewed Olympics Ever

, NBC Olympic ratings up 12 percent from BeijingThe International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that the 2012 London Olympics was the most watched Games ever, with an estimated worldwide viewership of 4.8 billion.

In the US, NBC surpassed its 2008 ratings from Beijing, by a considerable margin. Despite criticism of its tape-delay broadcasts, NBC's reported viewership was up 12 percent for the London Olympics, compared to Beijing four years ago. More than 210 million Americans watched at least a portion of the Games and the nightly average was around 32 million in primetime.

Olympic viewing among teenagers was up 27 percent from 2008.

Over in the UK, more than 50 million people watched the Olympics, that number represents roughly 88 percent of the population.

In total, about 17 percent of those polled said they viewed the Olympics online or digitally via cell phones. For the first time, digital coverage exceeded traditional television coverage.

Olympic heroes have replaced the stars of reality programs as the new TV role models.