Last night’s Paralympic closing ceremony brought London 2012 to a spectacular close in front of an average audience of nearly six million viewers as Coldplay, Rihanna, Jay-Z and a cast of thousands celebrated the Games one last time before the Olympic cauldron was snuffed out.
The “festival of flame” enjoyed a five minute peak of 7.5m viewers, and 25% of last night’s total TV audience was tuned in to Channel 4 and HD between 7:00-11:30pm.
While the event’s viewership didn’t dip below 7m people between 9:00-10:30pm, C4’s broadcast averaged 5.6m viewers as a whole owing to the show’s less-watched early stages, which began with 2.9m viewers at 7:00pm. A further 212,000 viewers (1%) enjoyed the ceremony an hour later, on Channel 4 +1.
And though the closing ceremony failed to attract a peak audience the size of the opening ceremony, which hit a high point of over 10m viewers, last night’s event gave C4 its second biggest peak of the Games, beating the huge audience Jonnie Peacock’s 100m win garnered at the end of last week.
The Paralympic closing ceremony also saw off its terrestrial rivals at peak time, which included BBC1’s Geroge Gently (4.7m/18%) between 8:30-10:00pm, ITV1 drama The Scapegoat (1.9m/9%) from 9:00-11:pm and the start of Dragons’ Den’s tenth series on BBC2, which was watched by 1.8m viewers (7.4%) between 9:00-10:00pm.
However The X Factor held its own on ITV1 between 8:00-9:00pm, attracting 6.6m viewers and a 25% audience share.
Team GB and Paralympics GB will both be out parading on the streets of London later today, and their procession will be broadcast live on BBC1. Considering the bumper ratings the BBC and C4 have both enjoyed over the summer, the Beeb’s number crunchers will doubltess have some more Olympic-sized ratings to celebrate this time tomorrow…