Eurovision 2021 was watched by more than 180 million people across the world, its been revealed.
The 2021 Eurovision Song Contest took place last weekend in Rotterdam, delayed a year due to the pandemic.
The show was watched by more than 7 million viewers in the UK.
It was the biggest audience and ratings for Eurovision in the UK since 2014 and the second biggest audience of the world last week, with Germany coming out on top with 7.8 million viewers.
The official Eurovision website reports that a total of 183 million viewers watched across 36 markets
Winners Italy saw an audience of 4.3 million viewers while hosts the Netherlands had their biggest audience ever 5.4 million viewers – almost 80% of the country’s TV audience.
France had 5.5 million viewers, up 15% on 2019’s contest while Finland also had its best audience on record of 1.4 million
Iceland had an audience of 150,000 viewers, working out at 99.9% of the country’s TV viewership.
The Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl said: “We’re thrilled to see that audiences welcomed back the Eurovision Song Contest in such huge numbers and very proud to have brought millions together at a time when so many are still apart.
“The overwhelmingly positive response to this year’s incredible shows from NPO, NOS and AVROTROS, and the huge success of Måneskin and so many of this year’s songs demonstrates that, even in its 65th year, the Eurovision Song Contest’s impact is bigger than ever.”
Executive Producer of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, Sietse Bakker added: “There were 1,624 people in the credits. They have worked very hard over the past weeks, months, two years to create these incredible shows in this bizarre and unreal time.
“Thanks to their trust in our organization, the Eurovision Song Contest is back again: With strong performances live on stage and ultimately a fantastic winner.”
Despite the big viewing figures, the BBC says that it “received complaints from viewers who feel that the Eurovision Song Contest is political and a waste of the licence fee.”
The BBC said in response: “Ever since the Eurovision Song Contest first burst onto our television screens in 1956, the competition has continued to be staple springtime viewing for BBC audiences.
“The accusation that the contest’s voting is ‘political’ is nothing new. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is strongly committed to secure the fairness of the Eurovision Song Contest and has implemented a wide range of measures to ensure this.
“Eurovision is the most watched, live non-sporting event in the world and the 2021 Contest provided BBC viewers with over eight hours of content in three shows.
“The Grand Final on BBC One attracted an average of 7.4 million viewers. It is extremely cost effective for a popular prime time entertainment programme.”
The result matched the UK’s last placed finish in 2019 while it was the first time we received ‘nul points’ since 2003.