England v Croatia World Cup clash creates live TV sport record | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our privacy policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. [Close]
It may still be reeling from the defeat so close to the final, but the England football team has the consolation of drawing a record peak audience of 26.5 million people to watch its World Cup semi-final against Croatia.
worldcup 13 july 2018

The peak figure measured between 21:30-21:35 local time for the coverage by ITV, whose turn it was to show the game exclusively free-to-air, made the football match the most-watched sporting event since the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012. The overall TV  average for the semi-final was 24.3 million, a figure made more impressive guven that it did not reflect the huge amount of people watching in pubs or on outdoor big screens.

For the previous game, the quarter final against Sweden on 7 July, the BBC generated a peak audience of 19.9 million for the game on broadcast TV. While this was noticeably down on the one-minute peak of 24.4 million viewers that ITV captured for the previous game against Colombia, it should be noted that the Saturday afternoon 15:00 kick time for the Sweden game meant that much bigger that ever mass audiences watched the game in towns and cities across the country.

The massive audiences drawn for the England games by ITV and the BBC, which were certain to have been improved upon on if the team had made it to the final, have marked a wonderful tournament for UK broadcasters, especially online.

ITV said that there were also a record 4.3 million requests to watch the Croatia game online on the ITV Hub, its free streaming service while on 7 July 3.9 million people requested to watch the quarter final triumph of the Three Lions on the iPlayer and the BBC Sport web site with a record 97% of such requests being live. This represented the BBC's highest online-viewed live programme ever. What made the audience more impressive is that in the run up to the game the BBC had warned that that those seeking to watch the game over streaming services were likely to face latency delays that could be as long as 20 seconds.