BBC scores massively with TV, online coverage of the World Cup | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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Although football didn’t come home to England, the national football team’s progress to fourth place at the World Cup in Russia certainly gave a welcome kick to the BBC’s coverage with 44.5 million TV and 66.8 million online viewers tuning in.
BBCworldcup 31May

Of the overall record-breaking online match requests on the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport, 56.3 millions of these were live and 10.5 million on-demand. The Three Lions’ quarter-final against Sweden held the highest peak share of the whole tournament at 89% and became the BBC’s highest online-viewed live programme ever with 3.8 million, plus a further 100,000 watching on-demand.

After 32 days of World Cup coverage, BBC reach — defined as 15 mins or more of viewing — was 44.5 million, 9.3% higher than Brazil '14 which saw England fail to get out of the groups stage. The group stage reach for Russia 2018 was 37.3 million; the round of 16 total reach 40.4 million; quarter-final total reach of 43.3 million and semi-final total reach — including England’s clash with Croatia — 43.9 million. In addition to the aforementioned quarter final between England and Sweden, the top five most requested BBC matches online across BBC Sport and BBC iPlayer live and on-demand were Tunisia v England (3.09 million), England v Panama (3.05 million); Brazil v Belgium (2.2 million); and Spain v Russia (2.1 million).

There were also 49.2 million UK unique browsers to the BBC’s World Cup web pages, a huge increase on the 32.3 million in 2014. The BBC’s virtual reality app was downloaded over 400,00 times, and over 2.5 million people registered for a BBC account. There were more than 2.07 million downloads and 300,000 streams of the World Cup Daily podcast in June.

The tournament’s denouement between France and Croatia captivated a peak (one-minute) BBC One TV audience of 10.4 million with a 54% peak share (one-minute) and two million live requests, with 36,000 on-demand, to stream the match online on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport.

Commenting on the performance during the tournament, BBC Sport director Barbara Slater said: “We have just witnessed one of the most memorable World Cup tournaments ever which has captivated football fans across the United Kingdom. The interest in the tournament and the achievement of England winning through to the semi-finals has been proven in the record-breaking figures for TV and online. It shows the impact that top quality sport can have when made freely available to everyone. We promised to provide 24/7 coverage and our highly praised output on TV, radio and online for the last 32 days has ensured nobody missed any of the action from Russia 2018.”