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Olympics 2012: BBC Average Audience for Closing Ceremony Tops Opening Event

Olympics 2012: London Mayor Boris Johnson Busts a Move to the Spice Girls (Video)Olympics 2012: London Mayor Boris Johnson Busts a Move to the Spice Girls (Video)

LONDON - The BBC said Monday that it drew a peak audience of 26.3 million with the star-studded London 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony Sunday night.

That was the biggest audience of the Summer Games for the U.K. public broadcaster except for Danny Boyle's opening ceremony, which had peaked with 26.9 million viewers and became one of the top 20 most-watched British TV programs ever.

The BBC said the average U.K. viewership for the event came in at 22.9 million though, ahead of the 22.4 million for the opening ceremony.

A BBC representative also said that the total number of Brits watching at least part of the Olympics in the U.K. reached 51.9 million, 90.4 percent of the population.

The most-viewed Olympic competition was the men's 100 meter sprint. Jamaican star Usain Bolt's gold medal-winning performance in the race drew a peak audience of 20 million for the BBC.

Other big ratings hits for the BBC included British runner Mo Farah's victory in the 10,000 meter race, which drew a peak viewership of 17.1 million.

Meanwhile, digital network BBC3 on Saturday drew its biggest-ever audience of 6.6 million with coverage of British diver Tom Daley's bronze medal-winning performance.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai