- Game delivered highest TV audience in the UK since Princess Diana’s funeral
- Around four times as many people watched the game on the BBC than on ITV
- Italian broadcaster Rai sees audience peak at more than 18.5m for penalties
Sunday’s Uefa European Championship final between England and Italy delivered huge viewing figures for broadcasters showing the game in the competing nations.
The game was watched by an average UK audience of 29.85 million people across public service broadcaster the BBC and commercial network ITV.
Viewership peaked at a mammoth 30.95 million viewers during extra time as Italy went on to beat England 3-2 on penalties and secure their second European title.
According to BARB figures supplied to Deadline, UK viewers heavily favoured the BBC’s coverage, with 25 million watching on the public network and six million tuning in for the game on ITV.
The combined figure represented an 82 per cent share of the available television audience and makes the game the most-watched broadcast in the UK since the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997.
It was also the biggest UK audience for a soccer match ever, surpassing the 25.2 million that watched England’s defeat to Germany in the 1990 Fifa World Cup semi-final – a game they also lost on penalties.
The BBC and ITV enjoyed steady growth throughout the tournament, which saw England reach the final of the Euros for the first time in their history. For context, the TV audience for England’s opening group game against Croatia peaked at 11.6 million viewers, meaning viewership has nearly tripled over the course of the competition.
In Italy, meanwhile, the game delivered an average audience of 18.2 million for public service broadcaster Rai, equivalent to a 73.7 per cent market share.
Rai’s audience grew to 18.46 million during extra time before peaking at more than 18.5 million for the penalties.