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Volume 24 No. 156
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Closing Ceremony Marks Canada's Most-Watched Summer Olympic Telecast Ever

Bell Media reported an average of 7.5 million Canadians watched the London Games Closing Ceremony Sunday, becoming the most-watched Summer Olympics broadcast on record in Canada. The live 4:00pm ET broadcast was watched by an average of 5.1 million viewers on CTV alone, more than three times the audience of the ‘04 Athens Games Closing Ceremony. Canadians watched a total of 662 million hours of coverage throughout the Olympics, with the average viewer consuming almost 21 hours of content during the event. An additional 3.4 million hours of content was viewed at and, while more than 1.1 million CTV Olympics London 2012 and RDS olympiques pour Londres 2012 Apps were downloaded. And 31.9 million Canadians, or 95% of the population, watched coverage on Consortium channels from the start of the Games, with viewing up a 88% over the '08 Beijing Games (Bell Media). The NATIONAL POST’s Eric Koreen noted there were “complaints about” the Canadian Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium “missing events here and there.” There were “nits to pick, but with three major English-language networks at its disposal, the consortium got to most of the marquee events in a timely fashion.” With the CBC “set to take over in Sochi in 2014, there are a few pointers it should take to heart from London.” Koreen suggested the CBC “keep it local, keep it live,” and “provide context.” The network also should “get smart about getting social,” as well as “show viewers their options” (NATIONAL POST, 8/13).

ACROSS THE POND: The PA’s Anthony Barnes reported more than 50 million people "in the UK watched TV coverage of London 2012 -- equivalent to 90% of the population.” Figures show that 51.9 million people "watched at least 15 minutes of the BBC's Olympic broadcasts during the fortnight-long sporting contest, making it probably the country's biggest national TV event.” The Closing Ceremony “drew a peak audience of 26.3 million viewers on BBC1 and across BBC digital channels.” An average “of 23.2 million was watching the three hour-plus show … amounting to four-fifths of TV viewers” (PA, 8/13). The FINANCIAL TIMES’ Ben Fenton writes despite “sporadic criticism -- some viewers complained that interviewers were being too tough on defeated athletes, while others said the coverage was too jingoistic -- Roger Mosey, head of the BBC’s Olympics output, said the public service broadcaster had enjoyed a successful games.” Mosey said that the 50 million viewers are “much higher than our expectations.” Also, audience research for the BBC “found an average approval rating of 92 per cent for its Olympic programming” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/14).

SETTING RECORDS: Telemundo reported it more than doubled its Beijing audience during its coverage of the London Games among viewers 18-49. Telemundo broadcasts reached 22.5 million viewers through its 16 days of coverage, 42% more than during the Beijing Olympics (Telemundo).

FOR MORE: For more Olympic ratings information from various countries, please see today's issue of SBD Global.