By Duncan Mackay

Channel 4_advert_break_London_2012September 27 - Channel 4 lost up to £1.5 million ($2.5 million/€2 million) in advertising revenue during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics after their production staff reacted to criticism on Twitter by cutting the number of commercial breaks, it was claimed today.

The Ceremony on August 29, which lasted more than four hours, attracted a peak audience of 11.2 million, Channel 4's biggest for a decade but attracted widespread criticism because of the amount of ad breaks.

But Broadcast magazine reported today that senior executives working on the event decided to cut the amount of adverts they showed after monitoring the criticism on the social networking sites during the Ceremony. 

Among those who voiced their dissatisfaction was well known British television presenter Philip Schofield, who wrote: "Loving the spectacle of the Paralympics but it sits a bit awkwardly with the ads."

But Broadcast magazine has now revealed that instead of the 48 minutes worth of adverts Channel 4 were allowed to show under Ofcom rules they, in fact, broadcast only half of that.

"Channel 4 maintained a flexible and dynamic approach to ad breaks during the Paralympic Games to ensure that they were taken at appropriate times," a spokesman told Broadcast.

"Less advertising was broadcast during the Opening Ceremony than would usually be taken in peak time, but minutage was redistributed throughout the event and the unprecedented levels of viewing created strong commercial demand across the Games."

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