Olympics 2012: BBC Reports Biggest Peak Audience Since Opening Ceremony

BBC Keeps Olympics Through 2020

A week ahead of the opening ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics, the BBC has signed a deal to ensure it will remain the exclusive U.K. Olympic broadcaster through 2020 at least. The agreement signed with the International Olympic Committee includes U.K. rights across all media platforms, including online and mobile.

The broadcaster drew as many as 17.1 million viewers on Saturday as Great Britain had its most successful Olympics day since 1908.

LONDON - The BBC set another London 2012 Summer Olympics ratings record Saturday as Mo Farah’s gold medal-winning run over 10,000 meters drew a  peak viewership of 17.1 million.

"Mo Farah’s golden moment in the 10,000m drew the highest peak of the Olympic Games so far," when excluding the opening ceremony, with a peak at 9:45pm, the U.K. public broadcaster said.

The ratings high came on what turned out to be Great Britain's most successful Olympics day since 1908 as the home team won six gold medals, including three within a period of 43 minutes.

The broadcaster's previous high for the Summer Games on its home turf had come on Friday night when 11.8 million viewers tuned in for a five-minute peak period during the climax of the women’s 10,000 meter swimming final.
A couple of other Olympic events on Saturday outperformed that audience as well.

As Jess Ennis won gold in the heptathlon for Great Britain, the audience peaked at 16.3 million. And as many as 15.6 million watched when Greg Rutherford won the long jump, Britain's first gold in the discipline since 1964.

Saturday’s peak ratings records were only below Danny Boyle's London 2012 opening ceremony, which had peaked at 26.9 million.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai