Telecinco Marks Highest Ratings Since World Cup

Meanwhile, box office earnings plummet as Spanish national soccer team performs well on the field.

MADRID - Spanish broadcaster posted its best audience share since the end of the 2010 World Cup Thursday night, with 70.2 percent share tuning in to watch Spain's national team beat Ireland in the Euro Cup 4-0, while box office admissions trickled to 45,000 tickets sold for the day.

More than 13 million people watched the match, with the viewers peeking at 16.7 million and 75 percent share-giving Telecinco the tenth most watched program since rankings started in Spain in 1992.

At the same time, according to Rentrak, Spanish box office sales dropped by 50 percent from the previous Thursday night to $277,000 (€220,000).

"The Euro Cup doesn't affect (box office) overall, it's mostly just when the Spanish team plays," explained Rentrak's David Rodriguez.

Box office figures from last weekend were affected by Spain's Sunday match, as well. Spanish box office earnings sat at 600,000 tickets for the weekend of June 8, 9 and 10, with €4 million.

In Ireland, more than 2 million people, nearly 50 percent of the country's total population, caught at least one minute of the game, according to rating figures from Irish public broadcaster RTE. An average of 1.1 million people, or 62 percent of the Irish audience, watched RTE's entire 2 1/2 hour coverage of the game, including pre- and post-match analysis.

Defending champion Spain sits atop its group after two games in the first round matches while Ireland's second lose means the boys in green will be heading home next week.