Yesterday’s thrilling World Cup final was watched by a peak of almost 20M viewers across the BBC and ITV as the game drew to an incredible close.
The match, which started at 3 p.m. GMT (7 a.m. PST) and ended 4-2 on penalties to Argentina after a 3-3 tie across 120 minutes of football, became the third most-watched World Cup game on UK TV of the Qatar tournament, behind England’s games against France and Senegal, although yesterday’s was broadcast on two channels.
A peak of 14.9M watched on BBC One and 4.4M on ITV, while the respective averages were 9.1M and 2.7M, according to Barb data supplied by overnights.tv
The match up between Lionel Messi’s Argentina and Kylian Mbappe’s France will go down as one of the greatest World Cup finals in history, with France stealing two late goals to take the game to Extra Time, the pair trading goals across the next 30 minutes and the penalties dramatically won 4-2 by Argentina. It is a crowning glory to end the career of Messi, deemed by many to be the greatest footballer of all time.
England’s Quarter FInal defeat to France remains the most-watched broadcast of the World Cup and most-watched single broadcast of the year across all UK TV. Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral was watched by a higher peak of almost 29M but that was across multiple channels, having been shown on more than 50.
England vs Senegal was watched by just shy of 20M peak and secured a 13.4M average. The 3-0 victory over Wales, which took England through, was watched by 18.7M peak, slightly ahead of the 18M who watched the 0-0 bore draw against the U.S.
The tournament, a rare winter World Cup, has drawn huge ratings as the year comes to a close and will likely mean this year tops 2023 for the BBC and ITV, with no major tournaments slated for next year.
Domestic Premier League action now returns on Boxing Day following a month off.
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