England's Cricket World Cup triumph draws TV peak of 8.3m for Channel 4 and Sky

England: beat New Zealand in Cricket World Cup final
England: beat New Zealand in Cricket World Cup final

Sunday saw Channel 4 enjoy its highest audience peak since 2012 Paralympics.

England's triumph over New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup final yesterday (Sunday) attracted TV spectators in their droves, with Channel 4 and Sky attracting a one-minute audience peak of 8.3 million.

The England team's closely contested 241-all-out triumph drew a slightly more modest five-minute peak of 7.9 million viewers, according to the BBC. An average of 1.6 million people watched the action from Lord’s on Sky and an average of 2.4 million on Channel 4.

But in terms of ratings triumphs, the BBC beat Channel 4 and Sky with its coverage of the Wimbledon men’s final. In what became the longest-ever final at four hours and 57 minutes, Novak Djokovic's victory against Roger Federer attracted a peak audience of 9.6 million on BBC One yesterday afternoon.

During Saturday's women's final, which saw Simona Halep beat Serena Williams, the BBC achieved a peak audience of 4.4 million.

Elsewhere on the sports-heavy Sunday, the British Grand Prix earned Channel 4 a one-minute peak of 2.8 million, with Sky attracting a further 900,000 viewers. It was watched by an average of 1.8 million viewers, hitting a ratings ceiling when Lewis Hamilton won the race at around 3.30pm.

The Cricket World Cup and Formula One have given Channel 4 its highest overnight share (11.5%) since the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Alex Mahon, Channel 4’s chief executive, said: "I’m thrilled that a total peak audience of 8.3 million watched England win the Cricket World Cup final on Channel 4 and Sky, and 3.7 million viewers saw Lewis Hamilton win a record-breaking sixth British Grand Prix. It’s wonderful that the whole nation can come together to share these momentous British sporting events, thanks to a fantastic partnership between Channel 4 and Sky."

Reaction to England's cricket victory has been understandably jubilant, with fans expressing their delight on social media, many declaring it the "greatest game of cricket ever". Some even tried to capitalise on the triumph politically, with Jacob Rees-Mogg attempting to draw a parallel between the win and Brexit, tweeting: "We clearly don't need Europe to win." He did, however, fail to mention that the squad is led by Irish-born Eoin Morgan. 

So far this year, the UK's highest peak for TV sports viewing was when England's Lionesses were defeated by the US in the Women's World Cup semi-final. The game attracted an average of 10.3 million and peaked at 11.7 million.

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