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SBD Global/July 31, 2012/Media

British Swimmer Adlington's Freestyle Bronze Is Ratings Gold For The BBC

England's Rebecca Adlington swims to the Bronze Medal in the women's 400m freestyle Sunday.
Nearly 11 million viewers watched British swimmer Rebecca Adlington win the women's 400m freestyle Bronze Medal, according to John Plunkett of the London GUARDIAN. That is the "biggest audience" for the London Games outside of the Opening Ceremony. Adlington's Bronze Medal win had a peak audience of 10.14 million viewers on BBC1 Sunday at 8:25pm London time, rising to 10.7 million when viewers of BBC Olympics 6 are included. BBC 1's entire evening program, which included Adlington's race, averaged 7.2 million viewers, a 29.5% share, between 7pm and 10pm. In an earlier event, more than 7 million viewers watched Lizzie Armistead win "Team GB's first medal of the Games." Team GB's 3-1 win over the UAE in men's football also "proved a ratings winner for BBC3." The match peaked with 3.2 million viewers at 9:30pm, with another 500,000 on the BBC HD channel and 800,000 on BBC Olympics 2, totaling to an audience of 4.5 million. BBC1 had a 28% share "across the whole of Sunday" (GUARDIAN, 7/30). In London, John Plunkett noted ITV1 "suffered Olympics ratings woe" on the opening day of the London Games on Saturday after its audience share for the whole day "came within a whisker of being eclipsed by BBC3." The commercial channel's all-day share fell to 6.2%, an average of 680,000 viewers on Saturday, rising to 6.7% when viewing of timeshift channel ITV1+1 is added. This is compared against an average ITV1 Saturday audience share over the past three months of 12.9% (GUARDIAN, 7/30).

AUSTRALIA SWAMPED: In Sydney, Michael Bodey wrote the London Games have "swamped Australian TV viewing as expected." The first session of Nine's prime-time Olympics telecast, featuring the women's cycling road race, averaged 2.144 million viewers, according to preliminary OzTAM data. The evening session featuring the Australian men's basketball loss and swimming qualifying averaged 1.9 million viewers in the five capital cities. Nine's 9am recap, London Gold, averaged 902,000 viewers, "which is a strong result." The Olympics is, however, "hurting Foxtel's traditional channels" with all sports broadcasts reduced by more than 100,000 viewers on Sunday (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/30).

GERMANY INDIFFERENT:
The DPA reported that Germany's interest in the London Games "leaves room for improvement." The "top two rated Olympic events on Sunday" were ARD's coverage of German table tennis No.1 Jiadu Wu's victory over Czech Iveta Vacenovska, which "attracted" 6.3 million viewers at 9:44pm CEST, and the 2-1 victory of Germany's women field hockey team against the U.S., which "was watched by" 3.8 million or a 17.9% market share at 10:18pm (DPA, 7/30).

SPAIN'S FOOTBALL INTEREST: EUROPA PRESS reported that La 1's coverage of the Spanish men's football surprising elimination from the Games was watched by more than 4 million people and a 33% market share. The match was the "most watched in the history of the national team in the Olympics." The "golden minute" occurred at 10:35pm CEST when more than 6 million people were tuned in for a 40.2% share (EP, 7/30).

FRANCE EXCEPTIONAL: LE PARISIEN reported that France Televisions' broadcast of the Olympics reached "exceptional numbers" at time on Sunday. The sporting competitions, "most notably the performances of French swimmers," gathered close to 4.6 million viewers and a 29.5% market share. At 10:30pm CEST more than 8 million people were tuned in to the Olympics broadcast (LE PARISIEN, 7/30)

GERMANY CHOOSES F1: DWDL.de's Uwe Mantel reported that German sports fans "had to decide between the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix and the Olympic Games" on Sunday afternoon, and "clearly decided in favor of the F1 race." An "average of five million viewers" tuned in to free-to-air channel RTL's broadcast of the Hungarian GP between 2pm CEST and 4pm CEST. The Olympic Games attracted over the same time frame only between 2.4 and 3 million viewers. However, RTL's "market share suffered due to the increased competition." In comparison to last Sunday's German F1 Grand Prix the Cologne-based channel "lost about one million viewers," and for the "first time this season the market share for its afternoon F1 coverage fell below 30%" (DWDL.de, 7/30).
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