EURO 2008 TV Ratings through the Roof
Wednesday, 11 June 2008

UEFA Delighted by TV Figures After First Matches

Television viewing figures for the first eight matches of the European Championship were "absolutely extraordinary", UEFA said on Wednesday. 

Figures of 80 per cent or more of the market share of viewers -- those people actually watching TV while the match was being played -- were recorded in Portugal and the Netherlands.

Christian Mutschler, the tournament director for the Swiss half of Euro 2008 which is being co-hosted with Austria, told reporters on Wednesday that UEFA was delighted with the figures.

"In Portugal we had over 80 per cent of the market share with 2.6 million viewers for their opening match against Turkey. In the Netherlands we had a market share of 82.5 per cent for their opening game against Italy."

He said that more than 23.7 million viewers in Poland saw their opening game against Germany, equivalent to a market share of 69.6 per cent.

In Austria, 1.5 million viewers tuned in to see their team's opening match against Croatia, reflecting a share of just under 60 per cent, while 41.7 per cent watched the neutral match between Italy and the Netherlands on Monday, the highest figures of the day for state broadcasting channel ORF.

In comparison, the Swiss figure of 2.0 million viewers for their opener against Czech Republic reflected a share of over 70 per cent, while 1.1 million (57.8 per cent) watched the Netherlands-Italy game, higher than any neutral match watched by the Swiss at Euro 2004 apart from the final.


Viewing figures generally across Europe of "neutral matches" were also impressively high, illustrated by the 14.9 million viewers in Germany who watched the match between the Netherlands and Italy.

That reflected 49.9 per cent of the TV audience, higher than any neutral match watched in the group stage of Euro 2004 according to UEFA figures.

William Gaillard, UEFA's Director of Communications, told reporters: "The figures in Germany are stunning and the figures for the Netherlands-Italy game in Holland are probably an all-time high for Dutch television.

"I don't think it is possible to get more than 80 per cent of the population watching TV at one time to be watching one programme when you have so many channels offering other things. It is absolutely extraordinary, almost historical."

One television territory where the figures bucked the trend was Britain.

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all failed to qualify for the finals and their absence was reflected in the first viewing figures from Britain.

Although 6.2 million viewers watched the Netherlands-Italy game, the highest British audience for a match so far, the market share was a lowly 30 per cent.

Gaillard added: "It is obvious when one of the large European nations like England is absent we won't get the large audiences we would have if that team had been playing on that day.

"But the neutral audiences are important, and the audiences in the UK are excellent for games that do not involve England or a team that would be in the same group as England.

"We can't expect to have 25 million British viewers because we have no British teams involved."


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