BBC Television's coverage of the 2004 Boat Race achieved a peak audience of 8.9m - the highest for 10 years.
The corporation announced last month that it would no longer televise the event, ending a 66-year association.
"We're delighted with these excellent viewing figures," said the BBC's director of sport, Peter Salmon.
"We've left a very strong legacy and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved in the BBC coverage over the years."
Cambridge stopped Oxford from winning a third successive title with a comfortable six-length victory at the end of a controversial race.
Umpire James Behrens turned down an appeal from Oxford cox Acer Nethercott.
The Dark Blues claimed Cambridge were to blame for a clash of oars early in the 4¼ mile course that caused bowman Chris Kennelly to come off his seat.