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England penalty drama secures ITV largest UK TV audience since 2012 Olympics


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

July 4, 2018 | 2 min read

The second round World Cup clash between England and Colombia generated one of the highest UK TV audiences ever, and the largest since 2012’s London Olympics closing ceremony on the BBC.

ITV and Olympics

Dier's penalty and the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony

After 120 minutes of intense football between the nations, ITV clocked a one-minute peak of 24.4m people just as England’s Eric Dier slotted home the winning spot-kick.

On UK TV, the event sits behind the 26.3m peak that the closing ceremony in London boasted in 2012 on BBC One.

The England and Colombia clash saw 3.3m simulcast requests on the ITV Hub, the highest ever received by this service.

The coverage lasted just over four hours and took a 69% share of UK viewing during this window, proving how live sports can still draw impressive audiences on linear TV.

Manager Gareth Southgate’s England play Sweden on Saturday, broadcast on the BBC. High viewing figures are anticipated again.

Twitter also provided data on the buzz created by the game.

It peaked at 127,000 tweets per minute on the #WorldCup as Dier netted the winning penalty. Many users will be second-screening using the app, so it serves as a good way to chart the most exciting moments of the game.

Media ITV Sports Marketing

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ITV, as an integrated producer broadcaster, creates, owns and distributes high-quality content on multiple platforms. We operate the largest commercial family of channels in the UK and deliver our content through traditional television broadcasting as well as on demand via the ITV Hub.

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