Euro Soccer Championship Final Breaks French Ratings Records
A total of 20.8 million people tuned in to watch the host nation suffer a shock 1-0 defeat to a Cristiano Ronaldo-less Portugal.
It may not have been France's night in the final of the European Soccer Championships, even with Cristiano Ronaldo limping off injured after 20 minutes, but that didn't stop the match against Portugal breaking TV records in the host nation.
A total of 20.8 million people tuned in to watch Portugal pull off a surprise 1-0 victory in extra time, making it the most-watched program ever on the French M6 network. With programming on all day, Sunday was the channel's best day historically, with a 31.5 percent share overall. Four years earlier, the 2012 Euros final attracted 12.9 million viewers on TF1.
Across the English channel, the final was broadcast on both the BBC and ITV simultaneously (despite England being dumped out by Iceland and Wales losing in the semifinals to Portugal). The BBC won out by five to one, attracting a peak of 13.6 million for a 59 percent share while ITV hit a peak of 2.3 million.
In Germany, the combination of summer holidays, good weather and the country's failure to make it into the final saw viewership dip on previous games.
The 17.7 million who tuned into public broadcaster ARD was well below the nearly 30 million that watched Germany's semifinal exit to France and even below the 19 million that saw Iceland against France in the quarter final. It also fell short of the 20 million in Germany who watched the 2012 final and the some 25 million who saw the 2004 final match (when Greece beat Portugal).
Rhonda Richford, Scott Roxborough and Georg Szalai contributed to this report.