Olympics 2012: Closing Ceremony Draws More Viewers in Key European Markets

Olympics Closing Ceremony Spice Girls - H 2012
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Olympics Closing Ceremony Spice Girls - H 2012

The star-studded London event featuring the likes of the Spice Girls outperformed the Beijing 2008 closing in Germany and France.

The Sunday night Summer Olympics closing ceremony in London drew strong TV ratings in key European markets, outperforming the ceremony in Beijing 2008.

In the U.K., the BBC's coverage of the star-studded London 2012 closing event set an all-time record of 22.9 million average viewers for the BBC for such a spectacle, giving it a viewer share of 81 percent.

In continental Europe, the TV ratings were affected somewhat by the late broadcast. Given a one-hour time difference to London, coverage for most European viewers didn't wrap up until 1 a.m. But The Who, the Spice Girls and other big-name talent attracted big numbers nonetheless.

In France, 5.1 million watched on TF1. That amounted to a 40 percent market share, making the broadcast the top TV event of the night. It also came in ahead of the Beijing 2008 closing event.

In Germany, an average of 5.76 million viewers, or a 33.7 percent share, watched the three-hour closing ceremony.

That also beat the ratings for the closing ceremony in Beijing, where 4.66 million, a 28.9 percent share, had tuned in.

The star-studded show wasn't enough to win the night in absolute numbers though. The primetime broadcast of Germany's soccer Super Cup game between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund drew 5.95 million viewers, although that represented just 19.7 percent of the viewing public.

And top-rated German crime series Tatort did even better for public broadcaster ARD, scoring 6.61 million viewers for a 21.2 percent market share.

In Italy, the closing ceremony on RAI peaked at 2.84 million viewers, a share of 24.1 percent.

Eric Lyman in Rome and Rebecca Leffler contributed to this report.