The World Cup is getting increasingly closer to coming home after England beat Sweden to reach the semi-final.
The game drew an 80% share of television viewers on BBC One on Saturday afternoon, similar to England’s penalty shoot-out win over Colombia in the quarter final. However, total TV viewers were down on the last round as the game averaged 15.8m, reaching a peak of 19.9m during the last few minutes. This compared to an average of 16.6m and a peak of 24.4m for the Colombia match.
This number would not have captured the millions of Brits watching the game, which saw Harry Maguire and Dele Alli score in a relatively comfortable win, in pubs or in public spaces. Given the scenes in the streets of Britain’s major cities and towns, it was clear that there was a huge communal viewing for this match.
Some 3.8M people also live-streamed the match online, making it the BBC’s highest online-viewed live program ever. However, the corporation’s video-on-demand platform iPlayer crashed during the final moments of the game. While this was not ideal, luckily the game had been largely sewn up. The British public broadcaster has apologized for the failure. A BBC spokesman said: “We’re aware that some people were experiencing technical issues and are looking into the cause. We apologize to anyone who was affected.”
The game was also well up on England’s dead-rubber loss against Belgium in the group stages, which drew a peak of 18.6m and a 72% share. That game averaged 13m and a 62% over the course of the match. It also beat England’s narrow win over Tunisia, which peaked with 18.3M and a 69% share.