The World Cup final may have been a close run contest but the same can’t be said of the competition for UK audience between the BBC and ITV, according to viewing figures.
Both terrestrial channels broadcast the final, which Argentina won on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw with defending champions France.
The BBC’s peak audience of 14.9m was more than three times higher than ITV’s 4.4m, while the corporation averaged 9.1m to the commercial channel’s 2.7m.
The total peak television audience across the two channels was 19.3m, making it only the third most-watched match of the 2022 World Cup in the UK.
The Queen’s funeral attracted 29m viewers, although that was across more than 50 channels. The World Cup final data was provided by BARB via overnights.tv.
The BBC’s coverage of the World Cup final was presented by its main football anchor, Gary Lineker, whose studio guests were fellow former England stars Alan Shearer and Rio Ferdinand alongside Argentinian former Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta.
ITV’s programming was helmed by veteran sports broadcaster Mark Pougatch, who was joined by ex-Manchester United treble winners Roy Keane and Gary Neville as well as former Arsenal record goalscorer Ian Wright.
The BBC reported that it pulled in a further 7.1m viewers via its iPlayer platform and at BBC Sport Online.
Its biggest single match was England’s group stage win over Wales, which drew 17.6m viewers.