Olympics 2012: BBC Draws Highest 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 U.K. broadcaster reached as many as 11.8 million viewers Friday, a figure only topped by the ratings for Danny Boyle's opening festivities.

LONDON - The BBC reached its biggest peak audience for coverage of any of the London 2012 Summer Olympics competitions on Friday.

The U.K. public broadcaster drew 11.8 million viewers for a five-minute peak period during the climax of the women’s 10,000 meter swimming final around 10pm London time.

Rebecca Adlington’s second bronze at the Summer Games in the 800-meter swimming final brought in a similarly big audience of 11.3 million at its peak, the BBC said.

Previous peak audience records during the Olympics were set with 10.7 million when Adlington won her first bronze medal on Sunday and when 10.2 million tuned in to watch Michael Phelps make history in the pool on Tuesday with his first gold of the games.

Friday's ratings highs were only below Danny Boyle's opening ceremony, which had peaked at 26.9 million.

The BBC Sport web site, meanwhile, set a new record of 8 million unique visitors from the U.K. on Friday and equaled a previous record of 10.4 million global browsers.

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