Euro Soccer Championships Score Record Ratings in Second Round
Nearly 17 million people in Britain, almost 30 million people in Germany and virtually every single person in Iceland watched the second round of Euro 2016.
The British might not want to be in Europe anymore, but they still like watching it on TV.
The European Soccer Championships drew near-record high ratings for commercial network ITV as close to 17 million Brits watched Monday night as the team from England was knocked out of the tournament in a shocking upset by tiny Iceland.
The audience of 16.9 million represented a 62 percent share, the highest peak on U.K. TV since the match-up between England and Uruguay in the World Cup in 2014. ITV's full three-and-a-half-hour coverage of the game, including pre- and post-game analysis, was watched by 11 million people, or a 48.1 percent share of the audience.
The figures are even more impressive given they don't include the hundreds of thousands of fans who watched at pubs, cafes and the many public viewing spots across Europe.
Germany, whose team blew by their second-round opponents Slovakia 3-0 on Sunday to advance to the quarterfinals, scored a new TV viewing record with an astounding 28.11 million viewers for the match, which was carried on public network ZDF. The market share for the broadcast — at 81.2 percent — was also the highest of this year's tournament. In the key 14-49 demographic, ZDF grabbed 85.5 percent of the total viewing audience.
Even without their team on the field, German fans couldn't get enough of Euro 2016. Nearly 15 million watched Iceland defeat England on Monday night, a 47 percent market share. It was the second-most-watched game, after the opener between France and Romania, that didn't involve the home side.
The average rating for the opening round of matches was 9.15 million across all German networks, a 36.4 percent market share. That's below the 13.3 million that, on average, watched the opening-round games for the 2012 tournament. But there were far more matches this time around, as the tournament has expanded from 16 to 24 teams.
Host nation France continues to build momentum, and an audience, for its Euro 2016 campaign. The country's soccer team's 2-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland on Sunday was caught by a peak audience of 14.2 million, a 66.3 percent share, on commercial channel TF1. In Spain, the Telecinco network hit a new high for the tournament with its coverage of Monday's Italy-Spain match, which ended with a 2-0 win by Italy. Nearly 8.5 million Spaniards, or 62.9 percent, watched Spain exit the tournament.
Italy has averaged just under 9 million viewers per match, a 39 percent share, for this Euro tournament, across both public broadcaster RAI and pay net Sky Italia. But the country has seen audience figures surge to close to 20 million for matches featuring the Italian squad.
Still, the ratings crown for Euro 2016 has to go to Iceland. Ratings for the Iceland-England game drew a jaw-dropping 99.3 percent share of the TV viewing audience. Given that an estimated 30,000 Icelanders — around 10 percent of the country's total population — are in France for the tournament and thousands more were on the streets of Iceland in public viewing areas, it's a safe bet that virtually every Icelander caught the game.
Alex Ritman in London, Rhonda Richford in Paris, Pamela Rolfe in Madrid and Ariston Anderson in Rome contributed to this report.