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PSG’s Champions League final loss nets 11.4m viewers for TF1

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin considers revisiting final eight format in future.

25 August 2020 Sam Carp

Getty Images

  • French FTA broadcaster notches 46.2% audience share
  • ZDF’s coverage peaks at 13.7m in closing stages of game
  • Final was most-watched in the US since 2015

French free-to-air (FTA) broadcaster TF1 recorded an average audience of 11.4 million viewers during its coverage of Paris Saint-Germain’s 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in Sunday’s Uefa Champions League final.

According to audience measurement company Médiamétrie, the viewership figure represented a 46.2 per cent audience share and a record primetime audience in France this year. 

RMC Sport, the Altice-owned pay-television broadcaster which last month sublicensed rights to TF1 for the final, has not yet announced its audience numbers for the game.

The final, which saw German champions Bayern lift European club soccer’s most coveted prize for a sixth time, also scored strong ratings in Germany, where public service broadcaster ZDF achieved a peak audience of 13.7 million towards the end of the game.

ZDF’s coverage was watched by an average 12.8 million people, which was a 39.9 per cent audience share.

Elsewhere in Europe, Mediaset-owned Italian FTA broadcaster Canale 5 roped in an audience of 5.7 million people for a 29.7 per cent share, while Spanish pay-TV network Movistar notched an average 1.1 million viewers for its coverage of the game.

In the United States, Spanish-language network Univision’s TUDN sports channel recorded more than two million viewers to deliver the most-watched Champions League final in the US since 2015. 

Bayern’s victory over their French opponents brought to an end the first ever final eight format for the later rounds of the Champions League, which were played over nearly two weeks in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. 

The quarter-finals and semi-finals were decided by a single-game knockout fixture, rather than the usual two-legged ties, as Uefa sought to complete the competition in quick time after the disruption caused to the European soccer season by the coronavirus pandemic.   

Aleksander Ceferin, the president of European soccer’s governing body, told Reuters that Uefa could even revisit the format in the future, but noted that it might be difficult to convince broadcasters to carry fewer games from the knockout rounds on a regular basis.

“We were forced to do it but in the end we see that we found out something new. So we will think about it in the future for sure,” Ceferin told Reuters.

He added: “[There has been] not so much tactics. If it is one match, if one team scores then the other has to score as soon as possible. If it is two legged system then there is still time to win the next match.

“More exciting matches for sure but of course we also have to think about the fact that we have less matches and broadcasters (can) say ‘you don’t have as many matches as before, this is different’ so we will have to discuss when this crazy situation ends.”

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