UPDATED with latest data: ESPN and ABC’s coverage of the UEFA Euro 2020 soccer championships is continuing its upward ratings trends, with an average U.S. audience of 965,000 viewers watching the tournament’s first 24 games, the networks said Tuesday. That represents a 33% increase over the same stretch of matches (spanning the first two of three games in group play) during Euro 2016.
Coverage had grown by 12% compared with the Euro 2016 tournament through the first seven games of the quadrennial tournament, which was delayed a year by the pandemic.
The eyeball boost is being led by some marquee matchups, like this past Saturday’s Portugal-Germany matchup on ESPN in the difficult Group F. It drew 1.83 million viewers — good for the third most-viewed group stage match ever on ESPN’s networks and ABC. By comparison, the big France-Germany showdown June 15 drew more than 15 million viewers in France on M6. In Germany, 22.55 million viewers watched the first half of the match on ZDF, good for a 67.4 share.
Still, four Euro 2020 games have cracked the top 10 in all-time Euro viewership (dating to 2008) across ESPN and ABC, which hold English-language rights. (All 51 games of the tournament are available on the ESPN app, and Univision holds Spanish-language rights in the U.S.)
Group play wraps Wednesday before the tournament advances to the knockout round, with big-name teams like defending World Cup champion France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, England and Croatia already through. Those games begin Saturday.