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Omar Oakes 

England v Italy Euro 2020 Final watched by 31m across BBC and ITV

England v Italy Euro 2020 Final watched by 31m across BBC and ITV

A combined audience of 30.9 million people tuned in to watch England's Euro 2020 final match against Italy last night - the second-highest linear TV audience in the history of UK TV since Barb reporting began in 1981.

The match – England's first major tournament final since the 1966  World Cup – was viewed by a peak audience of 25 million on BBC One and 5.9 million across ITV's HD and standard-definition channels.

BBC One achieved an average audience of 17.58 million, while ITV netted 3.96 million - a combined average audience of 21.5 million, based on overnight viewing figures from Barb.

Between 8pm and 11pm, BBC One had a 73% share of all TV viewing, while ITV had 17%. one in six TV viewers (16%) were not watching the match during that time.

The combined peak total is just 1.2 million short of the audience for Princess Diana's funeral in 1997 (32.1 million, simulcast on BBC One and ITV).

It is also 1.4 million viewers shy of England's 1966 World Cup victory in 1966 (32.3 million, also simulcast on BBC One and ITV), although it is difficult to compare like-for-like viewing figures because Barb measurement began in 1981.

Outside of Euro 2020, the last decade's biggest broadcasts include the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony (27 million peak) and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Covid-19 lockdown address (28 million) in March 2020.

The BBC and ITV share exclusive broadcast rights for Euro 2020 and simulcast the final between 6.30pm and 11.30pm on Sunday evening.

The viewing figures do not account for catch-up (video-on-demand) or time-shifted TV viewing.

The live football was played between 8pm and 10.45pm after the match was drawn 1-1 and went to extra-time, culminating in a dramatic penalty shootout in which Italy won 3-2.

 

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