The opening ceremony of London 2012 has been ranked as the second-most watched event in British TV history, only out-rated by an episode of Only Fools And Horses.
Official viewing figures from the Broadcaster’s Audience Research Board (Barb) show that an average audience of 24.24m tuned in to the Danny Boyle-directed event last weekend – with the audience peaking at 27m.

That average figure puts it second only to the 1996 Only Fools And Horses episode Time On Our Hands, when 24.35m viewers tuned in to see the moment when Del and Rodney Trotter (David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst) finally became millionaires.

And it overtook ITV1’s coverage of the 1965 Royal Variety Performance, which scored 24.2m viewers, and a 1979 episode of sitcom To The Manor Born, which was originally in third place with an audience of 23.95m.
As well as the impressive figures it notched up on the night, the opening ceremony also smashed records for the BBC iPlayer, with 1.7m viewers watching the show on the corporation’s online catch-up service.

Highlights of the ceremony included Daniel Craig, as James Bond, escorting the Queen to the Olympic Stadium via helicopter, and a Chariots of Fire spoof featuring Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean.

The most watched event of the actual games so far has been Usain Bolt’s record-breaking run in Sunday’s 100m final, with 20m viewers tuning in to watch the Jamaican smash the world record by completing the race in 9.63 seconds.

Ref :