BBC beat ITV in World Cup ratings war as almost 20MILLION UK viewers tune in to watch final

BBC thrashed ITV with their World Cup final ratings as 20MILLION Brits tuned in across both channels to watch Argentina beat France.

Viewers were treated to one of the all-time great spectacles as Lionel Messi inspired his country to a penalty shootout victory after a remarkable 120-minute match ended 3-3.

GettyMost UK viewers chose to watch BBC’s coverage of Argentina’s win over France[/caption]

ITV only managed to attract an audience of around four million for the finalRex

Both BBC and ITV broadcasted the final simultaneously, but it was very one-sided with regards to the share of the audience.

BBC managed to attract 14.9m people for their coverage spearheaded by former England striker turned presenter Gary Lineker.

Meanwhile, ITV, boasting pundits such as Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Ian Wright, could only muster a viewership of 4.3m.

But the overall total number of people tuning in was significantly up on the 2018 final between France and Croatia.

Just 11.4m Brits watched Didier Deschamps’ men lift the trophy in Russia, compared with 19.2m this time around.

The figures for 2022’s final do not yet account for those who streamed it on services such as iPlayer and ITVX.

It also does not include those watching in pubs.

A number of factors can explain this huge rise in ratings – most notably the blockbuster duel between Messi and Kylian Mbappe.


It’s safe to say the pair delivered as they registered five goals between them to captivate football fans around the world.

Then there is also the fact that the tournament was played in winter, so the general public are more likely to be indoors compared with the summertime.

Speaking after the ratings were announced, Barbara Slater, the director of BBC Sport, said: “One of the greatest World Cup Finals of all time, Argentina and Messi’s victory last night closed off a thrilling four weeks of football.

“A first ever winter World Cup was a new experience for fans and the BBC has once again demonstrated the value of sport when made freely available to all, breaking new streaming records and providing the highest quality coverage, analysis and entertainment across TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport Online and BBC Sounds.”

The most watched BBC match of the 2022 World Cup was Wales vs England – which peaked at an audience of 17.6 million – followed by the final, Holland vs Argentina, France vs Morocco and Spain vs Germany.