A peak UK audience of 18.64 million cheered England all the way to victory against Ukraine on Tuesday, according to itv.com.
Wayne Rooney’s close-range header sent England on their way to the Euro 2012 quarter finals and the broadcaster revealed its ITV1/ITV HD viewing figures soon after the win was completed.
According to huffingtonpost.co.uk, this was the highest peak of 2012 – even beating coverage of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Sweden’s win of their own against meant that England topped the group and avoided a clash with reigning champions Spain. That privilege was gifted to second-placed Les Blues, while England now face off against Italy in their quarter-final on Sunday, June 24.
The interest is expected to be heightened further when Sunday finally arrives and, as it’s been eight years since England last reached this stage in a European championships, football fanatics should be seeking venues for hire to make the most of the opportunity.
Expectancy to perform has been lower than usual this year, but Italy’s form going into the game should allow fans to carry at least a glimmer of hope as the weekend fast approaches.
Cesare Prandelli’s side left it until the last game of the group to notch their first win and many journalists picked up on their inability to bury their chances in front of goal. Roy Hodgson’s system on the other hand is a lot more defensive, so the Italian attack may have a task on their hands.
All eyes will now be on the BBC, who possess the rights to screen Sunday’s game.