England’s dead-rubber loss to Belgium in their final group game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup peaked with 18.6M viewers and a 72% share in the UK – the highest peak audience of the year.
The game, which aired on ITV last night, narrowly scored more viewers than England’s narrow win over Tunisia, which peaked with 18.3M and a 69% share. It also beat the 14.1M that tuned in to Sunday’s easy win over Panama, but couldn’t rival BBC One’s 82% share in that game.
The match, which ended 1-0 to Belgium to see the Europeans proceed to the next round as group winners, had an average 13M and a 62% over the course of the match.
However, ITV did attract 2.2M live requests for the game on its digital platform ITV Hub, which the commercial broadcaster said was its biggest ever number for live programming.
Over on the other side of the Atlantic, the England v. Belgium match didn’t shatter any records for stateside broadcaster Fox but it certainly got the expats out on Thursday.
With coverage starting around 10:45 AM PT, the 1-0 win in a game that neither side seemed particularly inclined to win snagged a 2.1/6 in metered market results for the Rupert Murdoch- owned network. That’s nowhere near the top spot match of Germany v. Sweden on June 23, which pulled in a strong 4.2/11 in the early metrics last Saturday.
However, compared to the Three Lions 6-1 destruction of Panama on June 24, yesterday’s game was up 59% in the metered market ratings. That pounding England victory of last Sunday eventually drew 1.8 million viewers on Fox Sport 1 – so expect solid numbers in terms of sets of American eyeballs later today.