BBC: “The biggest broadcasting event in our 90 year history”

A blog post from the BBC Director General Mark Thompson has paid tribute to the Olympian efforts of everyone at the BBC who delivered what he calls “the biggest broadcasting event in our 90 year history” referring of course to the 2012 London Games.

The opening ceremony entered the record books as the most-watched programs in the history of the BBC, and figures across all 24 channels of sport were astonishingly high.

While the top ten events took most of the internet feeds, 50 percent of consumption was for ‘less popular’ events, validating the BBC’s decision to have all sports, all the time, with rewind and catch-up capabilities.

There was also clear evidence of viewers taking the Olympics with them throughout the day. Looking at how people were accessing the BBC coverage online, PC usage peaked at lunchtime, mobile peaked after work around 6pm and tablet use was highest around 9pm. These truly were the world’s first digital games.

More interesting details pointed out by the BBC include:

- The Opening Ceremony drew a peak broadcast audience of 27.1 million people (including the red button), of which 9.2 million were via the mobile site and 2.3 million on tablets
- On the busiest day, the BBC delivered 2.8 petabytes, with the peak traffic moment occurring when Bradley Wiggins won Gold and it shifted 700 Gb/s
- Chapter marking enabled audiences to go back to key event moments instantly – receiving an average 1.5 million clicks per day – 13,000 clicks alone for Bolt’s 100m Final win
- The first week of the games was the most popular ever for BBC Sport Online with a total of 34.7 million browsers 50 million requests for the BBC Sport’s live video interactive streams and more than 106 million requests for BBC Olympic video content across all online platform
- BBC Sport Online’s most requested live video stream was of the Tennis Singles Finals, where Andy Murray and Serena Williams were victorious.

Changing the world through digital experiences requires a shared vision. By working with the BBC, an organization with a mandate to push technology boundariesand introduce innovative new services to its viewers, Adobe and all the broadcast partners have delivered an incredible feat of broadcast engineering both online and on devices.

As a publicly funded service, the BBC has delivered tremendous value to UK citizens, not only via traditional broadcast, but also through the delivery of the games online and across devices. Adobe, through elements of Adobe’s Project Primetime, is extremely proud of the role it played in helping the BBC deliver its outstanding Olympics coverage and of the deep partnerships formed with the BBC’s Future Media team.

Some nice user comments we’ve seen:

I think that I just got a lifetimes value from my license fee in 2 weeks!! – Mike Thomsett

I’ve always thought the License Fee was worth paying; now I think that more than ever. The BBC isa credit to Britain and sets the standard to which broadcasters around the world aspire…Thank you BBC, I have fallen in love with you again – Andrew McNeil

We would like to congratulate the BBC and its leadership for the vision, collaboration, passion and drive that has set a new bar for broadcast, extending far beyond what we know today as “television”. London 2012 has set the stage for every broadcaster around the world to bring TV content and new digital experiences online.