The BBC viewership of England advancing past Euro 2024 quarterfinal rival Switzerland was massive on Saturday. The Three Lions required penalties to defeat the Swiss after falling behind in the second half. However, a perfect five-for-five performance from the spot ensured another trip to the semifinals for England. It is the first time England has reached the semifinals of back-to-back European Championships in its history.

With a Saturday kickoff at 5 p.m. in London, English fans had no issue tuning in to watch the contest. That led to strong audiences watching the Three Lions compete. Coverage was available on BBC One, and the peak audience came during the penalty shootout after 120 minutes of game time could not separate the two.

The peak audience on BBC’s TV channel hit just shy of 17 million viewers. Then, there were a further 8.9 million people watching via streaming on BBC’s iPlayer and the BBC website. Therefore, the game had a combined peak viewership of almost 26 million.

Looking specifically at the 17 million viewers on BBC’s TV channel, that figure is a huge success for BBC. England games will always be the biggest draw for English TV broadcasters in the same way the United States or Mexico dictate success for American broadcasters. For example, at the 2022 World Cup, the England-Wales game at the group stage had more viewers on BBC than the World Cup Final between Argentina and France.

Emphasizing the importance of England when it comes to BBC viewership at Euros

The 17 million viewers watching the penalty shootout on BBC was a higher peak audience than the World Cup Final two years ago. Furthermore, it would have ranked second among all games at the 2022 World Cup in terms of peak audience. That is a statement of the popularity of England and the importance of the side in advancing far in the tournament for the broadcasters.

For reference, the 17 million viewers on the BBC account for more than three-quarters of the UK TV viewership from Saturday. The game averaged 13.6 million throughout the 2.5-hour broadcast. That equates to an audience share of 77%, which is simply enormous. That was a higher average audience than ITV’s broadcast of the round-of-16 game against Slovakia. For reference, 11.6 million people on average watched England defeat Slovakia in extra time. Interestingly, that game in the round of 16 had a greater peak audience with 18.4 million on ITV. That was the biggest UK broadcast on any channel in the last 18 months.

American broadcaster also benefits from England’s success

England is not giving its domestic viewership strong ratings with its further success. FOX, which has the English-language rights to the European Championship, has rode England’s success to strong viewership. Earlier in the tournament, 2.2 million viewers watched the England-Serbia game in the group stage.

The viewership number for FOX’s broadcast of England versus Switzerland was unavailable as of press time.


Euro 2024

Here are some resources to get you ready for Euros!
Euro Bracket: Download a free PDF bracket for the tournament
Euro 2024 Schedule: Full schedule of all games for the 2024 tournament
How to watch: Information on where to find the games on TV and streaming
How to Stream Learn how you can stream Euro games live in 2024
2024 Soccer Calendar: Get the lowdown on what will be a busy year in soccer