The hits keep coming for TF1 as France’s national football team continues advancing in the World Cup. Tuesday night’s dazzling victory over Belgium’s Red Devils saw Les Bleus move into to the finals for the third time in history, and shatter ratings records for the leading commercial broadcaster with a new 2018 benchmark.
In total, 19.1 million viewers were glued to their TVs for 70.5% of the audience, which peaked at 22.3M. That does not take into account the millions watching in bars and town squares throughout the country to see Samuel Umtiti’s header put the French on top 1-0.
Tuesday’s ratings, which Le Point says rep the ninth-best score in French television history, tower over last Friday’s quarterfinal World Cup match that saw France defeat Uruguay with 12.9M watching, although the audience share was higher at 76. Overall, the tournament has been a winner for TF1, setting viewing records for the year throughout. La Une has 28 key matches while pay channel BeIN Sport has aired all of them. Both will show Sunday’s final against either England or Croatia at 5 PM local time.
The 1998 World Cup final, which France won at home, was seen by 20.6M viewers, while the all-time record for TV viewing in France is the semifinal between France and Portugal in the 2006 World Cup with 22.2M and a 76.7 share on TF1. The TV landscape is certainly different today, but some see more records falling come Sunday.
British fans watching across the Channel to see who they might play should the Three Lions make it to the final numbered 10.6M viewers for BBC One and a 50.9 share. That’s one of the biggest scores for a non-England match this tournament, notes our Peter White.