TV Viewing Round-Up: July 2012

15 Aug 2012  |  Simon Wright 
London 2012

Cast your mind back to Thursday 26 July. Back then it's probably true to say that a fair few people within the media (and some outside of it) were pretty negative about the Olympics. Maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but we certainly weren't expecting the spectacular show Danny Boyle laid on for us.

An average audience of 24.3 million sat transfixed during Olympic 2012: Opening Ceremony, as a cast of thousands gave us a concise history of Britain, a parachuting monarch, multiple Mary Poppins battling the dark Lord Voldemort, Mr Bean daydreaming his way into the classic Chariots of Fire montage and a love letter to the National Health Service.

Even though the 'greatest show on Earth' only happened for five days during July, this month's chart sees over a third of the entries taken up with XXX Olympiad related programming.

Leaving aside the opening ceremony and BBC One's countdown programme (which attracted 10.3 million viewers), the most watched Olympic events of the month were the swimming races broadcast on the first Sunday. 7.2 million people tuned in to see gold medals handed out in men's 100m breaststroke and women's 100m butterfly finals.

Sport pretty much ruled the roost this month as Euro 2012 Final: Spain vs Italy, which saw a 4-0 victory to the Spanish side, pulled in 12.4 million viewers.

Elsewhere Andy Murray's run to the Wimbledon final proved to be a ratings winner for the Beeb. Starting off with his quarter final victory over David Ferrer, which drew in 5.3 million viewers; the semi final victory against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga had an audience of 6.4 million; while the highest ratings were achieved in the final against Roger Federer with 11.5 million viewers.

Even the news benefited from the sporting action, with 8 July's BBC News, broadcast immediately after the Wimbledon Final 2012: Federer vs Murray, garnering 9.1 million viewers, while 30 July's edition of the Ten O'Clock News kept hold of 5.7 million Olympic viewers from the previous programme.

Meanwhile the third and so far final reunion episode of Absolutely Fabulous, featuring cameos from Stella McCartney and a host of Olympic stars, was seen by 6.4 million fans of Edina and Patsy.

Elsewhere, away from the sporting cavalcade, Wallander returned with 6.9 million viewers, new Christopher Eccleston drama Blackout kicked off with 5.3 million viewers and Countryfile banked an audience of 6.5 million viewers.

Top Programmes (excluding soaps):

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All Homes:

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Digital Homes:

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Sky vs Freeview (share):

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