Euro 2008 final sets ratings record in Spain

Nearly 89% of TV audiences watch game's final minute

Spain's national soccer team's victory in the Euro 2008 final Sunday set all-time records for Spanish television, averaging an 81% audience share of 14.5 million viewers for Sogecable's free-to-air channel Cuatro.

The game, in which Spain triumphed 1-0 over Germany, was not only the most-watched game ever on Spanish television, but the last minute was the most-watched minute ever in Spanish history. More than 17.7 million people -- or 88.6% of the audience -- tuned in to watch the end of the game.

In Germany, 26 million viewers, or 80% of the audience, tuned in to the game on public broadcaster ARD. But that figure was about 3.5 million short of the record ratings for the tournament, set by sister channel ZDF during Germany's dramatic last-minute semifinal win over Turkey.

The actual number of Spaniards and Germans watching the game was much higher, as official ratings did not take into account the millions that crammed into free viewing areas in public squares, pubs and restaurants to celebrate or suffer together.

Pamela Rolfe reported from Madrid; Scott Roxborough reported from Berlin.
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