U.K.'s Channel 4 Draws Peak Audience of 7.7 Million With Paralympics Closing Ceremony

The network had reached as many as 11.2 million with the opening ceremony.

LONDON - Sunday night's London 2012 Paralympic Games closing ceremony peaked with 7.7 million viewers on Britain's Channel 4.

That was down from the 11.2 million peak viewership for the opening ceremony,  which had brought the network its biggest audience in over 10 years and saw it outperform the BBC and commercial broadcaster ITV - a rare feat.

The Sunday closing spectacle for the Paralympics, which included performances from Coldplay, Rihanna and Jay-Z, drew an average of 5.9 million, or a share of 25.7 percent of the people watching TV at the time.

The average audience for the opening ceremony had amounted to 7.6 million, a share of 40 percent.

But Channel 4 said it was the most watched TV channel in Britain across the day on Sunday, averaging a 16.4 percent share.

The Paralympics have been a ratings success for Channel 4, even though reports have suggested that it would lose some money on the sporting event, which came with an investment of £30 million ($47.6 million) into rights fees and production costs.

The state-owned network had last weekend reported its biggest Saturday all-day viewing share in seven years. Based on that, it expanded its coverage of the Paralympic Games for the past week.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai