The BBC received 104 million requests to watch action from the Tokyo Olympics online, compared to 74.4 million requests during the Rio Games


The BBC received 104 million requests to watch action from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games online throughout the duration of the competition.

The organisation says this ‘record-breaking’ interest massively outgrew requests for online viewing of previous Olympic Games. The Olympic Games in Rio, in comparison, received 74.4 million online viewing requests.

While not having live rights to all the different sports at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the BBC offered around the clock live and on-demand content across BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website, and its linear TV channels.

In total, 36.4m people watched Tokyo 2020 on BBC TV, which was a little down on the 37.5m who watched Beijing 2008 on the BBC. Meanwhile, 27.5 million accessed the BBC Sport website for news and analysis from Tokyo, including 41.3 million online requests for highlights clips.

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, says: “These Olympics have been nothing short of extraordinary and we’ve been right at the heart of the action, bringing the biggest and best moments of the Games to life for millions back in the UK. Delivering a record-breaking Games in the midst of a pandemic is a testament to the BBC Sport production teams in Salford as well as the power of sport in bringing people together. We’re incredibly proud to have shone a light on some of the most remarkable stories to come out of Tokyo 2020.”

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: Most popular events

The men’s 100m final was the most watched event on TV with 5 million viewers tuning in to watch on BBC1, followed by the women’s 100m final, which saw 4.5 million viewers.

3.6 million watched Max Whitlock in the men’s pommel final, while 3.4 million watched Bradley Sinden take silver in the 68kg taekwondo final.

The most requested moments online were Lauren Williams in the 67kg taekwondo gold medal contest with 2.5 million requests, and Charlotte Dujardin earning her fifth Olympic medal as Team GB secured bronze in the team dressage final with 2.4 million requests.