A massive 44.5m tuned in to watch one of the most entertaining World Cup tournaments to date on the BBC this summer.
  • Audience of 44.5m watched BBC coverage of World Cup 2018
  • Record-breaking 66.8m total match requests on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport
  • England v Sweden highest peak share of entire tournament at 89%

Millions across the country have witnessed moments that will stay with them forever, including England reaching their first semi-final in 28 years. The Three Lions’ quarter-final against Sweden holds the highest peak share of the whole tournament at 89% and became the BBC’s highest online-viewed live programme ever with 3.8m (3.9m including on-demand) live requests on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport.

The tournament overall saw a record-breaking 66.8m match requests (live and on-demand) with 56.3m of these being live requests.

A thrilling World Cup final between France and Croatia yesterday afternoon captivated a peak (1 min) BBC One TV audience of 10.4m with 54% peak share (1 min) and 2m live requests (with 36k on-demand) to stream the match online on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport.

Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, says: “We have just witnessed one of the most memorable World Cup tournaments ever which has captivated football fans across the United Kingdom. The interest in the tournament and the achievement of England winning through to the semi-finals has been proven in the record-breaking figures for TV and online. It shows the impact that top quality sport can have when made freely available to everyone. We promised to provide 24/7 coverage and our highly praised output on TV, radio and online for the last 32 days has ensured nobody missed any of the action from Russia 2018.”

Neil Hall, Head of Sport Product, BBC Design & Engineering, says: “This World Cup has seen a huge increase in people following the action over the internet, through BBC Sport and BBC iPlayer. Live match requests rocketed from a total of 15.9m at Brazil 2014 to 56.3m this year, and World Cup content on the BBC Sport website went up from 32.3m UK unique browsers to 49.2m in the same period. We continue to improve things behind-the-scenes and create new experiences that make these major events even more engaging for our audiences.”

The BBC’s World Cup 2018 coverage:

  • After 32 days of World Cup coverage, BBC reach (15 mins or more) has been 44.5m – higher than Brazil ’14 which brought in a reach of 40.7m
  • A record-breaking 56.3m live requests online including 3.8m live requests for England v Sweden – making it the BBC’s highest online-viewed live programme, ever
  • England v Sweden holds the highest peak share of the tournament at 89%
  • Group stage reach total reach – 37.3m
  • Round of 16 total reach – 40.4m
  • Quarter-final total reach – 43.3m
  • Semi-final total reach – 43.9m
  • The top five most requested BBC matches online across BBC Sport and BBC iPlayer live and on-demand were:

    1. Sweden v England (3.9m)
    2. Tunisia v England (3.09m)
    3. England v Panama (3.05m)
    4. Brazil v Belgium (2.2m)
    5. Spain v Russia (2.1m)

  • 49.2m UK unique browsers to the BBC’s World Cup web pages (32.3m in 2014), the VR app was downloaded over 400k times, and over 2.5m people registered for a BBC account
  • 450k UK unique browsers to the online Player Rater generated 11.9m ratings, including:

    – The highest rated player on average was South Korea and Spurs star, Son Heung-Min, with 7.43. Croatia’s Golden Ball winner, Luka Modric, received the highest rating for an individual performance with 8.45 against Argentina
    – England’s highest rated player on average was Kieran Trippier (7.19) and Jordan Pickford’s (8.41) penalty heroics against Colombia earned him the top England performance

  • The quality and presentation of the BBC’s World Cup coverage received an impressive appreciation index score of 82 – the highest score for a World Cup tournament on the BBC
  • More than 2.07m downloads and 300k streams of the World Cup Daily podcast in June
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