BBC scores huge World Cup ratings as over 18 million tune in to watch England v Tunisia

Harry Kane scored his winning goal in front of an enormous TV audience

Tunisia v England: Group G - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

If it felt like everyone in the country was watching England beat Tunisia in Monday’s World Cup match, you wouldn’t be far off.


The overnight ratings for the BBC’s coverage are in – and they make for impressive reading.

An average of 13.73 million tuned in to see England’s last minute 2-1 victory against Tunisia in the group stages, an audience share of 60.3%.

But the real peak came around 8.45pm, when the ratings hit a staggering 18.30 million – and a share of 66.9% – as full time approached and the score remained 1-1.

At 8.50pm, Harry Kane’s second goal hit the back of the net and took the England team to victory.

The match attracted a record three million requests to stream it on BBC iPlayer and the BBC’s website, making it the highest ever live audience for an online BBC programme.

But how big is 18.3 million?

To put it into perspective, there are 53 million people living in England, and the entire UK population is 65.6 million. Even the latest Strictly Come Dancing final pales in comparison, with a peak of just 13.6 million. And the figure easily tops that of the Royal Wedding which, earlier this year, pulled in 8.65 million with a peak of 13.1 million at 1pm.


The rest of last night’s telly paled in comparison to the football, with ITV’s Long Lost Family: What Happened Next pulling in 2.02 million and Versaille garnering 0.99 million. Love Island still performed, though, with a steady 2.42 million watching the ITV2 reality series.

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