U.K.'s Channel 4 Draws Biggest Audience in Over A Decade With Paralympics Opening Ceremony

Paralympic Games Logo 2012 - P 2012

Paralympic Games Logo 2012 - P 2012

The network drew a peak audience of 11.2 million viewers and an average of 7.6 million.

LONDON - Britain's Channel 4 drew a peak audience of 11.2 million viewers Wednesday night with the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games here, beating out the BBC and commercial broadcaster ITV. ?

The network said that was its biggest audience in over 10 years. The ratings came in above observers' expectations and made the event one of Channel 4's most-watched offerings in its 30-year history.

The average audience amounted to 7.6 million, a share of 40 percent of the people watching TV at the time. That was up from a peak audience of 2.8 million for the opening ceremony in Beijing in 2008. The coverage of the ceremony kicked off at 8pm and went past midnight.

The BBC's highest rating for Wednesday night came for Who Do You Think You Are?, which reached 3.6 million viewers. ITV at 7pm drew 5.97 million with soap Emmerdale.

The BBC had also hit various ratings highs with its coverage of the London 2012 Summer Olympics, which came to a close earlier this month.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai