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SBD Global/August 10, 2012/Media

Bolt Draws 11 Million On BBC For Wednesday's 200m Semifinal Run

Usain Bolt crosses the finish line of the 200m semifinals Thursday.
The men's 200m semifinals featuring Usain Bolt "proved the most popular Olympic event for BBC viewers on Wednesday," attracting just less than 11 million viewers -- nearly half the available TV audience, according to Jason Deans of the London GUARDIAN. Live coverage of Wednesday night's three men's 200m semifinals averaged 10.6 million viewers over 25 minutes from 8:10pm London time on BBC1, with another 373,000 watching the simulcast on BBC Olympics 1. The combined audience share for the two channels was 48.4% over this period. The five-minute peak across the two channels, of 11.3 million viewers (10.9 million on BBC1), came from 8:25pm. Bolt's race had a five-minute average audience of 10.9 million across the two BBC channels from 8:15pm. Earlier in the day, Great Britain's Nicola Adams' victory over India's Mary Kom in the women's boxing semifinals attracted a peak audience of 2.6 million on BBC1 and BBC Olympics 4 at 1:35pm. Overall, BBC1's evening Olympics program averaged 8.9 million viewers and a 40.6% audience share over three hours from 7pm (GUARDIAN, 8/9).

ITV SUFFERS: In London, Maggie Brown wrote that ITV had a "stiff upper lip" approach during the London Games. The broadcaster "has duly trotted out a low-cost summer schedule," and as a result "been totally trashed" by the BBC. One cannot help wonder if "the people's channel" would love to turn back the clock. ITV covered the Olympics in '68, '72, '80 and '88, and for several decades strove to reach a fair accommodation to share coverage with the BBC, before bowing out after the Seoul Games (GUARDIAN, 8/9).

GERMANY:
The VOLKSSTIMME reported that TV competition "had no chance against Bolt's magnificent acceleration on Wednesday evening." ARD's live broadcast of the Olympic track and field events, which also included Usain Bolt's 200m semifinal run, attracted 6.78 million viewers or 25.1% at 8:20pm CEST. The public broadcaster's coverage of volleyball at 10:30pm was watched by 3.78 million viewers or 22.1% (VOLKSSTIMME, 8/9).

FRANCE:
LE PARISIEN reported that France 2's Wednesday night coverage of the London Games was watched by 3.7 million people and a 27% share (LE PARISIEN, 8/9).

SPAIN: FEB.ES reported that La 1's broadcast of the men's quarterfinal match-up between Spain and France "was the most-watched event on TV Wednesday" with 2.2 million viewers and a 22% share. These numbers happened even though the game started at 5:15pm local time, which is "not the best possible start time during the summer" (FEB.es, 8/9).
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