It’s finally over everybody. London 2012 is no more. Both Olympics and Paralympics have flashed by so very fast, but almost instantly became essential TV viewing. A night wasn’t complete without watching someone triumph at the highest level at a sport you’d never even heard of, let alone seen.
ITV will finally breathe a sigh of relief, as it’s been beaten up by both the BBC and Channel 4 over the last couple of months in the ratings. Both the Olympics themselves and the Paralympics have attracted some huge ratings, with the Olympics especially dominating the ratings when it was on.
A nation swept up in the glory of Team GB was the cause for the success, with the stream of gold, silver and bronze medals raining down on the athletes making viewers keep tuning in for the events. Even in their wildest dreams though the BBC couldn’t have anticipated the massive numbers coming back day in, day out to see Team GB’s exploits. They may have a little bit of a shock come Rio if they’re expecting the same though.
The Paralympics continued that trend, with a superb mount of viewers sticking around to watch Channel 4’s occasionally patchy coverage of the event. That we even got such major coverage of the event was extremely impressive, although more about that can be read here.
While they’re doing absolutely nothing different, still offering the same combination of David Dickinson and Alan Titchmarch that’s liable to cause narcolepsy, ITV will expect to see a return to the normal viewing figures they usually expect.
They mustn’t get too comfy though as both the BBC and Channel 4 have been sitting on at least 2 weeks cracking content each that ITV has been forced to use in order to compete with the Olympic buzz that’s been going around the UK. The continued decline of The X Factor is another problem for ITV in the coming couple of months.
With the BBC still to use its full array of dramas and set to unleash Strictly Come Dancing onto an ailing X Factor, it could be a great year for both rating and critical reception for old Auntie Beeb.
Both the Beeb and ITV are hoping to get a little shot in the arm from the games with their major reality shows, with both Strictly and The X Factor getting stars of the games on their books. It seems likely that a one-off special just seems like a more of a cheap cash in though than Strictly’s recruitment of Victoria Pendleton and Louis Smith.
In a fantastic summer of sport though, it’s going to have to be one heck of an autumn to make us get over losing Mo Farah, Ellie Simmonds and Bradley Wiggins from our screens.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith