Broadcasters across Europe witnessed record TV ratings as France and Croatia progressed through the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.
An average of 24.3 million UK viewers, a 81 per cent audience share, watched the England v Croatia match on ITV, marking a record high for a football match on a single channel. The Three Lions’ 2-1 defeat drew in a peak viewership of 26.6 million, while ITV said it also broke a new record for online viewership, with 4.3 million simulcast requests for the match on ITV Hub.
France's 1-0 victory over Belgium on Tuesday night attracted 22.3 million viewers on TF1, making it the most-watched event of the year in France and the country’s eighth most-watched of all time.
Belgian broadcasters also set new ratings records, with nearly 2.5 million watching the match on Flemish network VRT and a further 1.65 million on French-language network La Une.
Meanwhile, 19.23 million German fans watched the England v Croatia match on public broadcaster ZDF and in Spain, Telecinco's broadcast of the match drew a 53 per cent audience share.
The 2006 World Cup semi-final between France and Portugal – which drew 22.6 million viewers in France – holds the all-time ratings record.