The Guardian reports that more than four out of five viewers in the UK chose to watch the BBC’s advertising free coverage of the 2010 Fifa World Cup final match on 11 July. This amounted to 15.1 million viewers while only 3.3 million viewers watched the final on commercial channel ITV.
This figure was the BBC’s best for a Fifa World Cup final since France 1998. In 2006 14 million people watched BBC1’s live match coverage of Italy’s conquest of France in the final.
The year’s Spain versus Netherlands final averaged a 66% audience share across four UK channels – BBC1, BBC HD, ITV1 and ITV1 HD – between 7.30pm and 10.05pm.