London 2012: Who really won the media Olympics?


The rather odd Closing Ceremony is over, along with all of the (plentiful) sporting events that make up the collective Games. But everyone’s still talking about them, whether discussing Ussain Bolt’s machine-like abilities, or asking why anyone thought Russell Brand pretending to be Willy Wonka before miming The Beatles was a good idea.
In media land talk has, of course, turned to statistics, with Edinburgh based research group Carat (formerly Feather Brooksbank)¬†sharing some truly intriguing figures with anyone signed up to its email digest service. For starters, 26.3million tuned in to see out London 2012 on Sunday night, with an average of 22.9million throughout the four hour show. In comparison the Opening Ceremony did slightly better, peaking with 27.4million, and bringing in an average of 23.4million- equivalent to 84% of the entire UK TV viewing population. More staggering yet is the fact 90% of all Brits with access to a television saw at least 15minutes of the BBC’s expansive coverage throughout the 16 days of sport- the biggest broadcasting event in the nation’s history.
Suffice to say then Auntie will be pretty sure the huge licensing costs charged for exclusive rights to show the Olympics were worth it. The beneficiaries go well beyond the country’s only officially affiliated TV network though. The Sunday Times tops the extensive list of papers that saw circulation increases, adding 70,000 copies to its weekend sales total on Britain’s ‘Golden Saturday’ (August 4th), though not everyone fared so favourably. The Sun, The Star, and their Sunday counterparts somehow managed to lose readers during London 2012, which seems like it should be hard to do, although most rivals offered far more comprehensive coverage, which is likely a cause of this drop.
Google witnessed a huge spike in mobile searches during the Games, with Week One resulting in ten times the amount of mobile and tablet based queries on associated sports compared with seven days earlier. During the same period (July 27th – August 6th),¬†telecom giant 02 registered double the amount of data sessions, meanwhile Twitter became the go to network (unsurprisingly), clocking up an average of 1,975 tweets per minute, on or around the world’s biggest celebration of fitness and athletic talent, with ‘best swimmer ever’ Michael Phelps ranking number one in terms of the most talked about competitors.