Attentional's ScreenWatch blog comments on viewing figures for UK TV content, using BARB overnight ratings.

Week 27th August – 2nd September 2012

The above table shows the single top performing titles each week by selected genre, based on BARB overnight data. Figures are for channel totals where applicable.

Let the Games Begin

Channel 4 played host to the Paralympics for the first time, after the broadcaster secured the rights to the games for a contract worth a record £9 million (the first time a broadcaster outside the BBC has successfully tendered for the rights).

The 12 day event, which will broadcast live on Channel 4, More4 and on three Paralympic streams (via satellite, cable and Freeview), as well as a dedicated live streaming website, was kick started on Wednesday night with the Opening Ceremony extravaganza from 8pm. The show, anchored by Jon Snow, ran an hour over its initial schedule (ending at 00.20) and pulled in an average UK audience of 7.6m (38.9%) on C4. An additional 115,600 (0.8%) tuned in an hour later on C4+1. The coverage reached a climax at 8.45pm with a five-minute peak audience of 11.2m (45.8%), on C4 Total.

The simulcast on More4 (with audio description) attracted an audience of 204,200 (0.9%) whilst its catch-up channel More4+1 managed 9,200 (0.1%) an hour later.

BBC1’s coverage of Beijing’s Paralympic opening ceremony, shown much earlier in the day (12.50pm) on the 6th September in 2008, averaged 2.15m (21.7%) viewers. The BBC dedicated just over 8 hours of footage to the 2008 Paralympic games (including over 3.5 hours for the opening ceremony). C4 are dedicating around 500 hours to sporting coverage.

Live coverage of the sporting events began on Thursday, where the all-day Share figure rose by 4.3 Share points (with a figure of 10.1% compared to the 12-month benchmark for Thursdays of 5.8%). The opening day saw Team GB secure two gold medals, the first by Sarah Storey in a time trial at the London Velodrome. An audience of 1.77m (18.02%) watched at 4.40pm on C4. The second gold came from Jonathan Fox, as he broke the 100m backstroke world record to claim his victory in the pool. The race was watched by 783,100 (4.2%) at 7pm on More4.

The men’s 200 metre T44 final on Sunday saw Brazilian Alan Oliveira win victory over South African double amputee Oscar Pistorius. A five minute peak audience of 3.7m (14.6%) watched at 9.20pm on C4.

More medals were added to the tally for Team GB over the course of the weekend, including 2 golds for Rowing and Cycling, a Silver in long jump, Bronze in the Men’s 100m butterfly event and a Silver in the Olympic Stadium for the Women’s 100m run, amongst many more. Team GB are currently third in the medals table with 29 Bronze medals, 17 Silver and 19 Gold.

New Titles

New Tricks began a ninth series on BBC1 at 9pm on Monday, 7.8m (32%) watched.

Trollied returned for a second series to Sky1 on Friday, 306,700 (1.4%) at 9pm. The second instalment at 9.30pm pulled in 335,300 (1.5%).

Doctor Who returned to BBC1 for a seventh series on Saturday at 7.20pm. An audience of 6.4m (29.3%) watched.


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