A massive 44.5 million tuned in to watch one of the most entertaining World Cup tournaments to date on the BBC this summer, according to figures released by the Corporation.
Millions across the country have witnessed moments that will stay with them forever, including England reaching its first semi-final in 28 years. The Three Lions’ quarter-final against Sweden holds the highest peak share of the whole tournament at 89 per cent and became the BBC’s highest online-viewed live programme ever with 3.8 million (3.9 million including on-demand) live requests on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport.
The tournament overall saw a record-breaking 66.8 million match requests (live and on-demand) with 56.3 million of these being live requests.
The World Cup final between France and Croatia on Sunday, July 15th captivated a peak BBC One TV audience of 10.4 million (1 min peak) with 54 per cent peak share (1 min) and 2 million live requests (with 36k on-demand) to stream the match online on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport.
“We have just witnessed one of the most memorable World Cup tournaments ever which has captivated football fans across the United Kingdom,” noted Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport. “The interest in the tournament and the achievement of England winning through to the semi-finals has been proven in the record-breaking figures for TV and online. It shows the impact that top quality sport can have when made freely available to everyone. We promised to provide 24/7 coverage and our highly praised output on TV, radio and online for the last 32 days has ensured nobody missed any of the action from Russia 2018.”
“This World Cup has seen a huge increase in people following the action over the Internet, through BBC Sport and BBC iPlayer,” added Neil Hall, Head of Sport Product, BBC Design & Engineering. “Live match requests rocketed from a total of 15.9 million at Brazil 2014 to 56.3 million this year, and World Cup content on the BBC Sport website went up from 32.3 million UK unique browsers to 49.2 million in the same period. We continue to improve things behind-the-scenes and create new experiences that make these major events even more engaging for our audiences.”
The BBC’s World Cup 2018 coverage: