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SBD Global/June 19, 2012/Media

Euro 2012 Is Capturing Record TV Ratings in U.K. And On Continent

England's 3-2 win over Sweden Friday night drew 16.2 million viewers on BBC One.

England's dramatic 3-2 victory over Sweden on Friday night hit a peak audience of 16.2 million viewers on BBC One, according to Maisie McCabe of MEDIAWEEK. It was the biggest audience for the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament so far, according to unofficial overnight figures. The start of the game was delayed 15 minutes, but from its 7:45pm GMT start to its 9:45pm GMT end, BBC One and BBC One HD "had an average of 15.17 million viewers." Over the course of BBC's 7-10:15pm GMT coverage on Friday night, BBC One and BBC One HD "had an average audience of 10.96 million viewers, a whopping 45.1% share." Earlier on Friday evening, the coverage of the Ukraine-France game on ITV "had an average of 4.27 million viewers, a 26.6% share, across ITV1 and ITV1 HD." An additional 14,000 watched the footage on ITV1 +1. BBC One also dominated Saturday night with coverage of the Czech Republic-Poland game, "which had 5.73 million viewers between 7:15pm and 10pm, a 26.4% share" (MEDIAWEEK, 6/18). The impact of Euro 2012 was evident even when the German squad was not playing. More than 11 million Germans tuned in Friday night to watch England beat Sweden 3-2, and 11.6 million watched the Czech Republic knock out Poland 1-0 in its primetime match Saturday night. And while "pubs, soccer-loving homes and open-air screenings of the Euro games were packed," theaters were empty. Just  "650,000 movie tickets were sold" in Germany over the weekend, 50% less than the preceeding weekend  (THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 6/18).

IN OTHER MARKETS: Top TV ratings keep piling up for Germany’s public broadcaster ARD during Euro 2012, according to SPIEGEL. A total of 27.65 million viewers watched Sunday’s Germany-Denmark game. That was 400,000 more viewers than Germany’s previous match against the Dutch. The more than 27 million viewers amount to “a market share of 74.2%.” That was just “marginally less" than the 74.9% market share that Germany’s second public broadcaster, ZDF, attained during its broadcast of Germany’s 2-1 victory against the Netherlands on Wednesday (SPIEGEL, 6/18). In France, reported that Sunday night's Portugal-Spain game pulled in 5.5 million people and a share of 22.7% in France for M6, which broadcasted the game (20MINUTES.FR, 6/18). And in Spain, the EFE reported that Telecinco's coverage of the Portugal-Holland game was watched by 5 million viewers, a 32.6% share (EFE, 6/18).

THE TALKING HEADS: In London, Jonathan Liew gave his take on the BBC and ITV commentary, writing: "As a nation, we have never held pundits in lower esteem, to the point where they now share an unloved bottom shelf with politicians, the taxman and Vernon Kay. By and large, we have decided that they are, by and large, completely useless, and that expecting any sort of insight from them is as futile as panning for gold in your toilet. So it may buck the trend slightly to say so, but it has to be said that both have made rather promising starts to Euro 2012. Roy Keane on ITV has been the star of the tournament so far: at first uneasy in the sterile studio environment, Keane has managed to distil his chronic feelings of alienation into an unending sluice of disgust directed at anyone foolish enough to step into his crosshairs. For an alternative approach, you need to turn over to the other side, where Gary Lineker has been transformed. Once a presenter who appeared to be passing time between snack commercials, Lineker has been noticeably more assertive in recent weeks" (TELEGRAPH, 6/17).
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