Top Rated 2012 Olympic Broadcasts

CTV released their final 2012 Olympic ratings this afternoon. I’m not going to bother debating their coverage anymore, simply because it’s over. I don’t care anymore. The next potential chance for CTV to show an Olympics isn’t until 2018. That’s a long way off. The numbers are fairly staggering. An average of 7.5 million Canadians (5.1 million watched it live on CTV alone) watched the closing ceremony last night. Not only does that make it the highest rated closing ceremony ever, but the highest rated Summer Olympic broadcast too. A combined audience of 2.419 watched the Beijing Closing Ceremony (live and encore) on CBC and CBC Newsworld in 2008.

Here is a comparison of 2004, 2008 and 2012 for Morning, Overnight (which was live in 2008) and Primetime coverage, as well as the Ceremonies. Note that CBC didn’t have Daytime coverage in 2008, so I’ve chosen not to include it.

Olympic Morning (CTV/CBC)
Athens 2004: 322, 000
Beijing 2008: 675, 000
London 2012: 922, 000*

Note: London 2012 only only days 1-9, which is all that’s available at the time.

Olympic Primetime (CTV/CBC)
Sydney 2000: 1.255 million
Athens 2004: 1.1 million
Beijing 2008: 1.294 million
London 2012: 1.967 million*

*Note: London 2012 only includes days 1-9, which is all that’s available at the time.

Olympic Primetime (TOTAL)
Beijing 2008: 1.434 million
London 2012: 2.8 million*

*Note: London 2012 only includes through day 13. The last two full days of competition are not available. 2008 includes CBC and TSN broadcasts (and not RDS or Radio-Canada), while 2012 includes all networks involved in the consortium.

Olympic Overnight (CTV/CBC)
Athens 2004: 212, 000
Beijing 2008: 544, 000
London 2012: 429, 000*

*Note: London 2012 only includes days 1-9, which is all that’s available at the time.

Opening Ceremony (live broadcast only)
Atlanta 1996: 4.3 million
Athens 2004: 1.4 million
Beijing 2008: 1.6 million
London 2012: 6.4 million

Closing Ceremony (live broadcast only)
Beijing 2008: 933, 000
London 2012: 5.1 million

(Credit to Chris Zelkovich for past CBC ratings)

Of course, it is worth remembering that sports ratings have trended higher since BBM Canada introduced portable-people-metres as their measurement system in 2010.

A couple more numbers to think about. The peak minute audience for CBC in 2008 was 2.574 million, for Simon Whitfield’s silver medal performance in triathlon. The 2012 opening ceremony peaked at 8.1 million viewers. CBC averaged around 300, 000 streams per day in 2008. cracked the million mark consistently, which shows the direction sports broadcasting is headed.

Here are the ten most watched 2012 Olympic events on CTV. Following the break, you can find many more ratings I’ve compiled over the past two weeks.

1. Athletics, men’s 100m final (CTV, V, RDS) – 6.2 million
2. Women’s Soccer, Canada v. USA (CTV, TSN, V) – 3.8 million
3. Athletics, men’s 1500m semifinal (CTV, V) – 3.1 million
4. Swimming, women’s 50m freestyle final (CTV, RDS) – 3.0 million
5. Athletics, women’s 400m hurdles, round 1 (CTV, V) – 3.0 million
6. Swimming, men’s 4x100m medley final (CTV, RDS) – 2.9 million
7. Swimming, men’s 1500m final (CTV, RDS) – 2.8 million
8. Athletics, men’s 200m final (CTV, V, RDS) – 2.7 million
9. Women’s beach volleyball, CZE-USA (CTV) – 2.6 million
10. Cycling, men’s omnium 15km (CTV, RDS) – 2.5 million

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