Beijing - The 2008 Olympics drew an estimated television audience of 4.4 billion in the first 10 days, setting a new viewing record for an Olympic Games, market research firm Nielsen said on Sunday.
The estimated audience from August 8-17 surpassed the 3.9 billion viewers for the whole of the Athens games in 2004 and the 3.6 billion who watched the 2000 event in Sydney, the company said in a press release.
In an earlier report, Nielsen estimated that almost one third of the world's population - a little over 2 billion - watched the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.
It said the highest audience reach for the opening ceremony was in the Asia-Pacific, where more than five in 10 people tuned in, followed by Europe, where 30 per cent of the population watched, and North America, at 24 per cent. (dpa)