SPORTS

Usain Bolt's gold medal attracts more than six million viewers in Canada

08/07/2012 02:20 EDT | Updated 10/07/2012 05:12 EDT
LONDON - Usain Bolt's run to gold in the 100 metres is Canada's most-watched event so far at the London Olympics.

An average of 6.2 million people watched both the English and French broadcasts of Sunday's race.

Some 4.9 million people tuned into CTV's English coverage while French-language channels V and RDS drew nearly 1.3 million viewers.

Sunday drew the highest overall audience so far for Canada's Olympic broadcast consortium with an average of 2.5 million viewers tuning in for more the 22 hours of coverage.

The Canadian TV ratings for London have been outpacing the Beijing Games four years ago, though it's difficult to compare because a new ratings measurement system was introduced in 2009 that has seen sports TV ratings skyrocket.

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee says Bolt's win could reach an official rating of 200 million. It will likely be the sports event with the highest TV viewership at the London Games.

Timo Lumme, the IOC's television and marketing director, also estimates that almost 900 million people watched at least part of the London Games opening ceremony on television.

He says it is the target figure for "global viewership ... that's all eyeballs across the world."

The final, official rating will be lower than 900 million. It counts viewers at home who watched for longer periods, and will be announced within months.

Lumme says around 80 of 200 national television markets have audited figures. Others are estimated.

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