Yesterday’s thrilling World Cup final was watched by nearly 20 million people across the BBC and ITV as the game came to an end.
The match, which began at 3 p.m. GMT (7 a.m. PST) and ended 4-2 on penalties to Argentina after a 3-3 tie after 120 minutes, became the third most-watched World Cup game on UK TV of the Qatar tournament, trailing only England’s games against France and Senegal, despite being broadcast on two channels yesterday.
According to Barb data, 14.9 million people watched BBC One and 4.4 million watched ITV One, with respective averages of 9.1 million and 2.7 million.
The match between Lionel Messi’s Argentina and Kylian Mbappe’s France will go down as one of the greatest World Cup finals in history, with France stealing two late goals to send the game to extra time, the pair trading one goal apiece over the next 30 minutes, and Argentina winning the penalty shootout 4-2. It is a fitting way to conclude Messi’s career as many consider him to be the greatest footballer of all time.
England’s Quarter-Final defeat to France remains the most-watched World Cup broadcast and the most-watched single broadcast of the year across all UK TV. The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II drew a higher peak of nearly 29 million viewers, but that was spread across multiple channels.
England vs. Senegal was watched by just under 20 million people at its peak, with a 13.4 million average. The 3-0 victory over Wales, which advanced England through the groups, was watched by 18.7 million people at its peak, slightly more than the 18 million who watched the 0-0 draw with the United States.
With no major tournaments scheduled for next year, the tournament, a rare winter World Cup, has drawn huge ratings as the year comes to a close and will likely mean that this year tops 2023 for the BBC and ITV.
Following a month off, domestic Premier League action will resume on Boxing Day.