The game at Wembley Stadium in London, which kicked off at 8pm (BST), went to a penalty shootout, peaking at a combined audience of 30.95 million during the closing minutes of the encounter.
The final also drew huge viewing interest in Italy, with a combined audience of over 20 million across free-to-air and pay television.
According to BARB figures supplied to the Deadline website by overnights.tv, the BBC scored a comprehensive victory over ITV for its coverage, with the two broadcasters televising the game under the terms of their rights deal.
The audience high during the penalties saw the BBC pull in around 25 million viewers, versus ITV’s figure of around 6 million. Overall, BBC One’s coverage averaged 17.8 million viewers from 6.20pm to 11.40pm, while ITV averaged 4 million viewers from 6.30pm to just before midnight. The numbers exclude those who watched the match on the broadcasters’ streaming services.
The combined average audience in the UK was equal to an 82-per-cent market share.
ITV’s coverage of England’s semi-final against Denmark on July 7 previously recorded peak figures that set a new high for a single broadcaster of a football match in the UK. The match, which saw England win 2-1 after extra time, peaked at an 89.3 per cent audience share with 27.6 million viewers across ITV, ITV Hub and STV.
The national football team’s 4-0 win over Ukraine in the quarter-finals on July 3 pulled in a peak television audience of 20.9 million on the BBC. That figure made the game the UK’s most-watched live television event of the year, with an 81.8-per-cent market share of the evening’s audience.
In addition, the match at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome attracted 5.2 million live streams across the BBC iPlayer and BBC website combined. The average television audience was 19.8 million, according to figures from the BBC.
That match narrowly eclipsed the figures the BBC generated for its coverage of England’s round-of-16 game. The 2-0 victory over Germany on June 29 attracted a peak television audience of 20.6 million. The BBC also registered a record 5.6 million streams for the match on iPlayer.
The 20.6 million television viewers represented an 80.1-per-cent share. Including viewers on the BBC Sport website, the overall audience total was more than 27 million.
The BBC splits Euro 2020 rights in the UK with ITV. Prior to the Ukraine and Germany games, the viewing record stood for the group stage game against Scotland on June 18.
ITV broadcast the goalless draw, with the match attracting an audience of 18.4 million viewers (a 74-per-cent share) on ITV and STV, its franchise in Scotland. The combined audience on both broadcasters peaked at 20 million (a 79-per-cent share).
ITALIAN AUDIENCE ECLIPSES 20M
Italian public broadcaster Rai netted an average audience of 18.2 million viewers for the final and a market share of 73.7 per cent.
The first-half audience was 17.8 million (a 71.9-per-cent share) while the second-half figure was 18.3 million (a 73-per-cent share).
The extra-time audience for live coverage on the Rai1 channel was just under 18.5 million (a 76-per-cent share). The audience crept over 18.5 million for the penalty shootout, registering a 78.7-per-cent share.
The match was also watched by 2.4 million subscribers on pay-television broadcaster Sky Italia.
Last week’s semi-final between Italy and Spain was watched by close to 19.5 million viewers in Italy across free-to-air and pay-television.
The Italians’ victory after a penalty shootout was watched by an average of 17.4 million viewers on Rai, the Italian public broadcaster. The market share was 67.5 per cent.
An additional 2 million subscribers watched the match, which kicked off at 9pm (CET), on Sky.
AUDIENCES IN FRANCE, GERMANY AND SPAIN
M6, the French commercial broadcaster, pulled in an average audience of 11.8 million viewers (a 52.8-per-cent share) for last night’s final, according to figures from Médiamétrie. M6’s audience peaked at 13.9 million close to 11pm (CET) and is the highest audience since 2018 for a match not involving the French national team.
Pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports also aired the final in France.
In Germany, the match attracted an average of 20.9 million viewers and a 64.4-per-cent share on public broadcaster ZDF. The audience among 14 to 49 year olds was 7.7 million (a 72.3-per-cent share).
The match was also broadcast on German pay television by telco Deutsche Telekom.
The highest German audience of the tournament was the 27.4 million (and 76.5-per-cent share) on public broadcaster ARD for the national team’s round-of-16 exit to England.
In Spain, the first 90 minutes of the final were watched by an average of 6.5 million viewers (a 45.9-per-cent share) on Telecinco, the Mediaset-owned commercial broadcaster, according to Spain’s FormulaTV.com.
An audience of just over 7.5 million viewers (a 49.3-per-cent share) watched the extra-time period and an average of just under 8.5 million viewers (a 55.3-per-cent share) watched the penalty shootout.