Channel 4 establishes new British TV audience benchmark for Paralympic live sports
Friday, 31 August 2012
August 31 - Channel 4 has already set a new British viewing record for Paralympic live sporting action, with the London 2012 edition hardly into its stride.
The station (pictured top) – Britain's host Paralympic television broadcaster for London 2012 – has beaten, by an audience of more than one million, the best figures recorded by BBC Sport during Beijing 2008.
Channel 4 drew an overall peak of 3.6 million viewers across its three Paralympics Extra channels, at 9pm last night, with 3.3 million on the main channel.
The figure – which represents a 15 per cent British television viewing share – was registered during coverage of a thrilling wheelchair basketball match between Great Britain and Germany, which saw the hosts defeated 77-72 in extra-time.
BBC Sport's Paralympic highlights television programme during Beijing peaked at 2.5 million viewers on September 9, 2008.
On the opening day of live sporting action at Beijing, the coverage from BBC Sport – which has hitherto shown the Paralympics in some form since Arnhem in 1980 – reached a high of 1.6 million sports fans.
The viewing figures marked a good opening day of competition for Channel 4; between 7.30pm and 10.30pm its Paralympic Games 2012 Tonight show was watched by an average of 2.5 million fans.
However, Channel 4's Paralympic live sports figures have some way to go to better its ratings figures for the Opening Ceremony on Wednesday evening (August 29) which peaked at 11.2 million – the station's biggest audience in over 10 years.
August 2012: More than 11 million watch Paralympic Opening Ceremony on Channel 4 amid protests over adverts