LONDON – Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt not only won another Olympic gold medal here Thursday evening, but also gave the BBC its biggest rating of the day.
But its peak audience came in below the TV crowd that watched Bolt’s 100 meter gold medal run. The men’s sprints are traditionally among the most-watched competitions in the Summer Games.
After a delay that saw no ratings data on Friday, the BBC said Saturday that a Thursday peak audience of 15.4 million viewers watched Bolt beat out Jamaican colleague Yohan Blake to become the first man ever to retain the 100 meter and 200 meter Olympic titles.
On Sunday, the 100 meter race had drawn a peak audience of 20 million.
Previous ratings highs for the U.K. broadcaster’s coverage of the Games included last Saturday’s gold medal-winning run over 10,000 meters from Mo Farah, which drew a peak viewership of 17.1 million.
Danny Boyle‘s London 2012 opening ceremony, which had peaked at 26.9 million viewers, drew bigger ratings than any competition.