'Symphony' attracts 26.3 million at peak
LONDON — The closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games proved a massive audience draw Sunday for the BBC with viewer numbers rivalling Danny Boyle’s opening event.The BBC announced Monday that the closer, entitled “A Symphony of British Music,” attracted a high of 26.3 million viewers compared with the July 27 opening night’s 26.9 million. Most people tuned into the pubcaster’s flagship channel BBC1, which drew an average 22.9 million, accounting for an 80.7% share of Blighty’s TV audience. The audience held above 20 million throughout the show and the broadcaster enjoyed an average aud of 23.2 million viewers, slightly higher than the opening ceremony’s 23.02 million average. An additional 202,000 watched via the BBC’s Red Button, a digital channel dedicated to the Olympics, and 83,000 in 3D with BBC HD. The show featured some of the biggest stars of British music including the Spice Girls, One Direction, Pet Shop Boys, Annie Lennox and The Who, as well as Monty Python star Eric Idle. The BBC also drew a 12.3 million audience for its 90-minute pre-show program. The pubcaster said its coverage of the 30th Olympiad reached 51.9 million people in the U.K. throughout the course of the Games, representing 90.4% of the country’s population. The BBC announced last week that the man responsible for planning the coverage of the Games, Roger Mosey, will take over as acting director of BBC Vision from Aug. 20.