England’s penalty shootout win against Colombia in Moscow was the UK’s most watched television event since 2012, according to ITV.
ITV’s coverage of the Three Lions’ last-16 clash at the Spartak Stadium attracted an audience of 16.5 million.
Viewing figures peaked at 24.4m for Eric Dier’s winning spot-kick, more than any other live sport event since England lost to Portugal on penalties at Euro 2004.
ITV said: “The ITV coverage from 6.15pm until 10.34pm was watched by 16.5m/69 per cent share of viewing – making it the most watched TV event since the Olympic closing ceremony in 2012.
“The audience hit a one-minute peak of 24.4m viewers at 9.52pm when England scored the winning penalty.
“This is the highest peak audience for live sport since England played Portugal in the 2004 Euros (peak of 24.7m).”
An average audience of 20.2m viewers watched between kick-off at 7pm and the winning penalty, ITV said, and 3.3m simulcast requests on ITV Hub was its record number for live programming.
The drama also caught the imagination of the nation on social media.
The social network said there had been half-a-million tweets saying ‘It’s coming home’ in the past 24 hours, compared to 1.4m mentions in the 20 days since the start of the tournament, as England fans turned to the 1996 anthem Three Lions.