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England v Scotland scores for ITV

Friday's match reached an audience of 18.4 million viewers - much more than the corresponding game at Euro 96 when there were 250 fewer TV channels, and no streaming services

Friday’s Euro 2020 match between England and Scotland has proven to be a ratings winner for UK broadcaster ITV, reaching a peak of 20 million viewers.

According to the broadcaster, the match had a 79 per cent share of the TV viewing audience across ITV and STV, making it the most-watched game of the tournament so far.

The match coverage (from kick off to final whistle), was watched by 18.4 million viewers/a 74 per cent share of viewing across ITV and STV.

It also set a new broadcaster streaming record with 4.8m streams across ITV Hub and STV Player.

ITV said the game is the most-watched football match since England’s World Cup semi-final against Croatia in 2018, which drew a peak of 27.5 million viewers.

Interestingly, the match on Friday scored more viewers than the corresponding game at Euro 96, which didn’t even break into the top 10 most-watched TV programmes of that year. The tenth most-watched programme in 1996 according to figures from BARB, was an episode of the National Lottery Live, which reached 16.62 million viewers. It also beat the most-watched match of that tournament, England v Germany, which reached 17.46 million viewers.

In 1996, there were just 39 reported channels in the UK compared to 315 in 2020. 1996 also saw the very first trials of VoD in the UK.