London 2012: BBC3 Peak Olympics Audience Beats ITV1 on Sunday

BBC1 draws a peak audience of 10.7 million, more than on Saturday, while the BBC Sport web site sets another record.

LONDON - The BBC continued to draw a big audience with its Summer Olympics coverage on TV and online on Sunday, with BBC1's peak viewership topping Saturday's high mark and the BBC Sport site setting a new record.

For the whole day, 8.3 million global browsers visited, including 6.1 million in the U.K., the broadcaster said. That beat Saturday’s record of 7.8 million.

Meanwhile, a total of 10.7 million TV viewers watched British swimmer Rebecca Adlington win a bronze medal in the women’s 400 meter freestyle final on BBC1 Sunday at 8:25pm, according to the public broadcaster.

The day's second-largest audience came for Lizzie Armitstead, who won silver for Great Britain in the women's cycling road race earlier on Sunday. Coverage of her race peaked at 7.6 million viewers.
A BBC spokesman said on Twitter Monday that "BBC3's #Olympic coverage peaked with 3.6 million viewers at 9.30pm, beaten only by #BBC1." That figure amounted to a viewership share of 14.7 percent, the company said.

The Guardian had earlier reported that ITV1's viewing share for the entire first day of London 2012 Summer Games competitions came close to being eclipsed by BBC3.

The commercial broadcaster's share for the full day calculated as 6am-2am declined to 6.2 percent, or an average of 680,000 viewers, on Saturday, or 6.7 percent when including time-shift channel ITV1+1. That compared to ITV1's average Saturday audience over the past three months of 12.9 percent.

BBC3's 5.9 percent audience share, or an average of 654,000 viewers, compared with an average audience share over the past three months of about 1.6 percent.

BBC1 had an all day share of 29.9 percent on Saturday, compared with an average of around 22 percent.

Twitter: @georgszalai