Before the Games, organizers and television executives quoted seemingly (to me) outstanding numbers when discussing the amount of people who would watch domestically and abroad. Those numbers were blown away. About 11.2 million people watched the opening ceremony on Channel 4, blowing out expectations, and 7.7 million watched the closing ceremony. The trend continued for the span of the competition. commanded a 12 percent viewing share from 5:25 to 7 p.m. on the fifth day of competition when the British swimming star Ellie Simmonds landed her second gold medal of the Games, and stayed above 10 percent for the rest of the evening action. Later in the week when the Briton Johnny Peacock was tearing down the track in a gold medal 100-meter run, 6.4 million people were sitting at home watching as 80,000 people were cheering in the stands. The evening wrap-up show “Last Leg,” on at 10 every night, averaged 1.2 million viewers and a 6.4 percent share.
(Photo: "Joshua George said he would never forget the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games in London." Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images.)