BBC coverage trounces ITV in World Cup final viewing figures

BBC One's coverage attracted 9 million more viewers than ITV's simulcast

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The Independent Culture

The BBC trounced ITV during the simulcast of last night’s World Cup final, pulling in over four times more viewers.

An average 12.09 million viewers tuned in to watch the BBC’s advertisement-free coverage of Germany vs Argentina, with 2.86 million opting to watch ITV’s broadcast instead.

Alan Hansen’s last appearance on the BBC sofa is also thought to have contributed to the broadcaster’s 9 million lead.

The BBC’s coverage of the 2014 World Cup has not been without difficulties after Phil Neville’s commentary drew 445 complaints and Jonathan Pearce struggled to get to grips with goal-line technology.

ITV’s coverage was widely criticised as the more unprofessional of the two channels, with Adrian Chiles and pundits appearing in shorts and T-shirts on the beach in Rio de Janerio.


Andy Townsend’s commentary was also slated for its over use of clichés and his inclination to state the obvious.

A peak audience of 20.64 million tuned it to watch the World Cup final, making it the biggest UK TV audience since the London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony.

Video: Germany win fourth World Cup

The disparity in ratings for the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and Holland was even larger, with 15.1 million opting to watch the match on BBC One in comparison to 3.3 million on ITV.

Read more: Germany vs Argentina match report