Despite a reduction in coverage on the BBC, iPlayer viewing requests for Tokyo 2020 exceeded Rio 2016.
With more viewers seeking out live and on-demand digital content than ever before, the number of online viewing requests for this year’s Games reach 104 million, beating the 74.4 million record set by Rio 2016.
This time around, the BBC was only able to broadcast live coverage on BBC One, plus one additional stream available on BBC Red Button, iPlayer and BBC Sport website. This was the result of a sub-licensing deal with Discovery, who screened enhanced coverage on its streaming service.
In total, 36.4m people watched Tokyo 2020 on the BBC’s linear TV service. That’s down nearly a million on Beijing 2008, the last time the Olympics were held in a Far East timezone, resulting in many key moments taking place in the early hours. London 2012 and Rio 2016 had the advantage of having some live finals taking place in primetime.
Most watched Olympic events on BBC TV
- Mens 100m final – 5 million
- Women’s 100m final – 4.5 million
- Men’s Pommel final – 3.6 million
- 68kg Taekwondo final – 3.4 million
Most requested online
- Lauren Williams in the 67kg taekwondo final – 2.5 million requests
- Charlotte Dujardin earning her fifth Olympic medal in theTeam Dressage final – 2.4 million requests
There were 41.3 million total requests for online highlights clips. 1.7 million tuned in to BBC Radio 5 Live through the BBC Sounds app and website.