Now that’s more like it. Friday night’s riveting World Cup match-up between Portugal and Spain drew a bigger swath of the major European audience compared to Thursday’s Russia v Saudi Arabia kickoff. That match played in late-afternoon Thursday — and lacked the kind of star power we saw on the pitch last night in Sochi.
In Spain, where kickoff was 8PM last night for La Roja, Mediaset’s Telecinco had 10.4M watching as Diego Costa scored twice and Nacho bagged one goal. That was good for a 68 share of the country’s viewing population, 2.5 times the Russia v Saudi Arabia kickoff.
In the UK, 7.4M checked out Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo as he scored — three times — the last off a free kick to tie Spain mid-way through the second half. With that goal, the striker now has 51 hat-tricks under his boot, and the 51st ever hat-trick of the tournament. BBC One drew a 40.2 share from the 7PM start time. Many more soccer fans watched in Britain than the previous day, but the share of the audience was only up just a tick.
In France, 8.16M tuned in to the Iberico with the audience share at 37.7, according to Mediametrie figures. That’s 3.4 points up on Thursday. France faces off with Australia this afternoon local time.
In Germany, home to the World Cup’s defending champs, ARD had 13.17M viewers for the game that started at 8PM local. The live broadcast nabbed a 46.4 share of the market, slighlty lower than Thursday’s opener in percentage terms but with about 4M more sets of eyeballs.
We are waiting on figures out of Portugal and will update.