England’s Euros triumph draws record TV audience of 17m

Audience peaked at 17.4 million viewers, making it the biggest UK television event of the year to date

A peak TV audience of more than 17 million tuned in to watch England’s historic win over Germany in the Euro 2022 final, making it the most-watched women’s football game in UK television history and the most-watched TV event of the year.

The Lionesses’ dramatic 2-1 victory ended England’s 56-year wait for a major football trophy and 80% of all TV viewers were watching as the extra-time winner went in at a sold-out Wembley on Sunday night.

The peak audience of 17.4 million viewers makes the BBC One broadcast the biggest TV event of the year so far and there was an average audience of 11 million across the entire Match of the Day programme from 4.50pm to 9.30pm.

Tim Davie, the BBC director general, said: “We are incredibly proud to have championed women’s football and are thrilled we were able to bring such a special sporting moment to the public.

“This was the most-watched women’s football game on UK television of all time and the most-watched programme in 2022 so far – and deservedly so.”

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In terms of average viewing audience, the Queen’s platinum jubilee concert remains the most-watched programme of the year, with 13.1 million viewers. However, many more viewers would have been watching the Euros final in pubs and fan zones up and down the country, and this is not captured in official TV viewing figures.

Alongside the TV broadcast, there were 5.9 million streams across the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport website and app, as viewers watched goals from Ella Toone and Chloe Kelly clinch victory for England in a major international tournament for the first time since 1966.

The previous most-watched women’s football game on UK TV was the 9 million average audience and 11.7 million peak who saw England’s semi-final defeat by the US at the 2019 World Cup.

The clash also smashed records in Germany, where broadcaster ARD attracted an average audience of 17.8 million – a 65% share of all TV viewers – making it the most popular women’s football match in history. The previous record audience was set during the Women’s World Cup in 2011, when 16.9 million tuned in to watch the hosts, Germany, get knocked out by Japan in the quarter-finals.

The BBC will broadcast coverage of a victory parade for the Lionesses at Trafalgar Square in London on Monday afternoon.


Mark Sweney

The GuardianTramp

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