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Olympics breaks BBC online records, with 106m video requests

Olympics breaks BBC online records, with 106m video requests
Staff Reporter
14 August 2012

As well as being the biggest ever national television event, the Olympics was also the BBC's most successful online event ever, attracting a record-breaking 55m global browsers to BBC Sport online (cumulative reach) throughout the course of the Games.

There were record breaking numbers of browsers to BBC Sport online – with 55m (global) and 37m (UK) browsers to the BBC Sport site in total across the Games, and an average of 9.5m (global) and 7.1m (UK) browsers per day. The previous record for a single day was 7.4m global and 5.7m UK.

“Our aspiration was that just as the Coronation did for TV in 1953, the Olympics would do for digital in 2012," says Phil Fearnley, the general manager, News and Knowledge, BBC Future Media. "The demand and astonishing feedback we’ve seen from audiences accessing our Olympics content online, whenever they want, on the devices they choose, has exceeded our expectations and helped fulfil this aspiration. We promised audiences would never miss a moment of the Games. We delivered on our promise and will build on this to leave a lasting digital legacy for audiences in years to come.”

There were 106 million requests for BBC Olympic video content across all online platforms, more than double seen for any previous events.

There were also 9.2m UK mobile browsers to the BBC’s Olympics coverage, making up 34% of all daily browsers to BBC’s Olympic coverage, and 12m requests from mobiles for video throughout the Games.

The Red Button service which allowed viewers to see sports across channels saw 23.7m viewers to the 24 SD, HD and Freeview streams throughout the Games. Each stream saw at least 100,000 viewers.

Over a 24 hour period on the busiest Olympic days, total traffic to exceeded that for the entire BBC coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2010 (matches). On the busiest day, the BBC delivered 2.8 petabytes, with the peak traffic moment occurring when Bradley Wiggins won Gold.

BBC online coverage included a page for every athlete, country, sport and venue, 2,500 hours of coverage and up to 24 HD live streams.

BBC Sport launched its new live interactive video player for the Games. This enabled viewers to watch and switch between live HD video coverage, navigate to key moments within a session, and discover more with live data, statistics and information, while watching the action.

Of the 106m requests for video throughout the Games 62m were for live streams, 8m for on-demand streams and 35m for clips, eclipsing the previous highs of 32m for the Beijing Games and 38m for the 2010 World Cup. New features such as chapter markings received an average 1.5 million clicks per day, with people using them to navigate instantly to key moments.

The top five most-requested events from Olympic live video streams on BBC Sport online included: Andy Murray and Serena Williams winning the Tennis Singles Finals, Bradley Wiggins winning the Men’s Cycling Time-Trial and Athletics Heats including Jessica Ennis in the Heptathlon. The Opening Ceremony has continued to be one of the most popular programmes on BBC Online, with 3.9 million requests to view on either BBC iPlayer or the BBC Sport website to date.

Popular video clips included German diver, Steven Feck’s nightmare ‘zero point’ dive with over 830,000 requests, Cuban pole vaulter, ÔĽŅLazaro Borges’ pole snapping mid-vault with 420,000 requests, and Usain Bolt storming to victory in the 100m final with over 429,000 requests.

The top ten most-requested events from Olympic live video streams on BBC Sport online:

Live stream day requests

1. Tennis Singles Finals - Serena Williams and Andy Murray golds,    Sun 05 Aug -     820,000

2. Bradley Wiggins winning gold in the Men’s Cycling Road Time-Trial,    Wed 01 Aug -     729,000

3. Tennis Singles Semi-Finals - Serena Williams and Andy Murray, Fri 03 Aug -     610,000

4. Mark Cavendish competing in the Men's Cycling Road Race,    Sat 28 Jul - 531,000

5. Athletics Heats including Jessica Ennis in the Heptathlon, Fri 03 Aug - 468,000

6. Rowing gold for Glover and Stanning in Women’s Quadruple Sculls,    Wed 01 Aug -     411,000

7. Team GB winning gold in the Men's Team Pursuit and Victoria Pendleton winning the Women's Keirin Cycling Final,    Fri 03 Aug -     407,000

8. Cycling golds for Chris Hoy (Keirin) and Laura Trott (Onmium),    Tue 07 Aug -     348,000

9. Athletics Heats including Usain Bolt winning the Men's 100m Final, Sun 05 Aug -     344,000

10. The Brownlee Brothers winning gold and bronze in the Men's Triathlon, Tue 07 Aug     - 336,000

Please note: Stats are up to and including Saturday 11 August 2012

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