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BBC reveals Olympics data demand surged to three petabytes

13 Aug 2012
BBC Olympics Smartphone application home screen for London 2012

The BBC has revealed the astonishing levels of demand placed on its services during the Olympic Games over the last two weeks, revealing it far outstripped anything the corporation has seen before.

Writing on a blog, the organisation's head of product for sport and 2012, Cait O'Riordan, gave an insight into just how widely used its 24-stream services were, with some eye-catching figures.

"Over a 24-hour period on the busiest Olympic days, Olympic traffic to exceeded that for the entire BBC coverage of FIFA World Cup 2010 games," she wrote.

"On the busiest day, the BBC delivered 2.8 petabytes, with the peak traffic moment occurring when Bradley Wiggins won Gold and we shifted 700GB/s."

In total during the two-week period the BBC served requests from 34.6 million unique browsers, while mobile access to data also rocketed.

"We saw 12 million requests for video on mobile across the whole of the Games. We've had 9.2 million browsers to our mobile site and Olympics app over the course of the Games, and over 2.3 million browsers on tablet," wrote O'Riordan.

"While PC and tablet usage has generally peaked and dipped at different times of the day, mobile consumption has increased steadily from the morning to a plateau in the early afternoon, before dipping away in conjunction with TV viewing in the evening.

"It's obvious: people have their mobiles with them 24/7, and have been using our app and mobile site to keep up to date with the action wherever they are."

The most popular streamed event was Andy Murray winning gold against Roger Federer at Wimbledon, while other key moments made up the rest of the list (see below).

Top ten most-requested events from Olympic live video streams on BBC Sport Online

1. Tennis Singles Finals - Serena Williams and Andy Murray golds
820,000 live views

2. Bradley Wiggins winning gold in the Men's Cycling Road Time-Trial

3. Tennis Singles Semi-Finals - Serena Williams and Andy Murray

4. Mark Cavendish competing in the Men's Cycling Road Race

5. Athletics Heats including Jessica Ennis in the Heptathlon

6. Rowing gold for Glover and Stanning in Women's Quadruple Sculls

7. Team GB winning gold in the Men's Team Pursuit and Victoria Pendleton winning the Women's Keirin Cycling Final

8. Cycling golds for Chris Hoy (Keirin) and Laura Trott (Omnium)

9. Athletics Heats including Usain Bolt winning the Men's 100m Final

10. The Brownlee Brothers winning gold and bronze in the Men's Triathlon

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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