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RATINGS! England’s first World Cup game attracts record viewing figures

England’s first match at the 2018 World Cup has become the year’s most watched TV moment.


A huge average audience of 13.7 million viewers tuned in last night, as England beat Tunisia in their opening game.

It makes the match the most watched TV programme of 2018 to date, beating both The Royal Wedding and Britain’s Got Talent.

Excluding the build up and post-match analysis, the game alone averaged just under 17 million viewers.

A huge peak audience of 18.3 million were watching BBC One as England scored a last minute goal to take the lead.

What’s more, according to the BBC, a further 3 million watched the match live online via the BBC iPlayer.

Meanwhile, in the other matches of the day, 3.6 million caught Belgium v Panama while Sweden v South Korea had 1.8 million watching on ITV.

Despite the huge audience beforehand, EastEnders followed the England game with 4.1 million viewers, actually down 100,000 viewers on Friday’s previous instalment.

Over on ITV, and a repeat of Vera had 2 million viewers before 2.4 million caught Long Lost Family’s What Happened Next? series.


On ITV2, Love Island continued with strong numbers as 2.6 million viewers tuned in. Showing no signs of slowing down, the figure matched last Monday’s rating.

Elsewhere, just under 2 million watched the last instalment of 24 Hours in Police Custody in Channel 4 while Versailles had 1 million viewers on BBC Two.