Michael Phelps scored a record 19th medal on Tuesday to become the most decorated Olympian of all time, but in the UK, it’s Bradley Wiggins who’s bringing in the medals and the audience. The top stream on the BBC Sport website on Wednesday was the Men’s Cycling Time Trial where Wiggins, fresh off his Tour de France tour de force, took the gold and Chris Froome took bronze. The win for Wiggins made him the most successful British Olympian in history. The BBC is streaming all XXX Summer Olympics events with 567,000 requests for Wiggins’ race yesterday. On TV, the cycling peaked at 6.2M viewers on BBC One for a 50.3% share at 4pm local time. Still, swimming is the stickiest sport for the BBC’s TV coverage given its primetime berth. Scotsman Michael Jamieson’s silver medal in the Men’s 200m Breaststroke Final gave BBC One a peak 9.5M viewers Wednesday evening. Other nets are struggling against the BBC’s primetime coverage. ITV1 is relying in part on repeats, but only took an 8.2% share on Wednesday night with an episode of Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Channel 4′s medical reality show 24 hours In A&E drew an average 2.7M viewers in Wednesday primetime. In the States, Tuesday’s 8-11:43 PM broadcast on NBC was the highest rated night of all the Games since 1996.
Revenues at Britain’s leading satcaster, BSkyB, were up 4.5% to £6.79B for the year ended June 30, 2012. Operating profit jumped a record 14% to £1.22B at the company which is 39% controlled by News Corp. Sky now has 10.6M subscribers in the UK, having added 312,000 in the past year. The biggest growth is in triple-play with 3.4M now turning to Sky, a 21% increase on the previous year. Sky also recently launched internet TV service NOW TV and its free-to-air catch up service, Sky Anytime, will launch in the fall on the on-demand players of rival networks. In reporting the results, chief exec Jeremy Darroch talked up the recent Tour de France win of Bradley Wiggins. “We are proud to have played our part in the wonderful achievement of Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins, who created sporting history this week by becoming the first British winner of the Tour de France… We all hope that success at the Tour de France will add fuel to Britain’s cycling boom and inspire a whole new generation to get on their bikes.” The company also announced it would expand telephone and broadband services to the Republic of Ireland later this year.