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Volume 10 No. 25
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U.K. Sporting Events Attract 75 Million Fans, Record Viewing In 2012

The U.K.’s "amazing year of sport" was reflected in attendances of more than 75 million at professional sports events during '12, according to analysis by the Deloitte Sports Business Group. This was reinforced by huge TV audiences for the London Games and Paralympic Games, and other established annual sporting events. Deloitte Sports Business Group partner Dan Jones commented: "The demand and passion for sport in the U.K. was reflected in the 11 million tickets sold for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games. When added to the 64 million attendees at other professional U.K. sport events, there was a total of 75 million visits to sporting events across the U.K. in 2012. The British public’s appetite for attending sporting events, in absolute terms and relative to its population size, is unmatched anywhere in the world." This year has also seen huge TV viewing figures as sport dominated the list of most watched programs. Jones added: "Twenty million people watched Usain Bolt win the Olympic 100m in London, while there were over 6 million viewers of Jonnie Peacock’s victory in the T44 100m at the Paralympic Games." Outside of the Games, the top-10 attended sporting events had a combined attendance of 2.4 million, and include many of the world’s great sporting occasions. Horseracing and equestrian events accounted for five of the top-10 attended U.K. sporting events. The year '12 was a golden year for tennis with Andy Murray winning Great Britain’s first Grand Slam since '36, to add to his Olympic Gold and Silver medals. Jones added: "Wimbledon continues to be the country’s highest attended sporting event" (Deloitte).

  • Football contributed more than 42 million of total sports attendances.
  • The Premier League is second only to the Bundesliga as the highest attended domestic league in Europe.
  • Both codes of rugby recorded increased total attendances in '11-12, continuing the strong growth of recent years.
Top 10 Attended Sporting Events In The U.K. In '12
Event (duration in days)
Attendance (000's)
1. Wimbledon (13)
2. F1 at Silverstone (3)
3. Royal Ascot (5)
4. ATP World Tour Finals (8)
5. Cheltenham Festival (4)
6. The Open (4)
7. Burghley Horse Trials (4)
8. Epsom Derby meeting (2)
9. Aintree Grand National meeting (3)
10. MotoGP at Silverstone (3)

Selected Viewing Figures For U.K. Staged Sporting Events In '12
Peak audience*
Olympic Games
Opening Ceremony
BBC 27.3
Olympic Games
Closing Ceremony
Olympic Games
Men's 100m final
BBC  20.0
Olympic Games
Men's 10,000m final
BBC  17.1
Wimbledon Men's final
BBC  16.9
Paralympic Games
Opening Ceremony
Grand National
BBC 10.9
Paralympic Games
Men's T44 100m final (Jonnie Peakcock)
Premier League - Man City vs. ManU
Sky 4.4
British Grand Prix
BBC and Sky
* In millions