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bumper numbers Ratings coming home for RTÉ as record breaking figures in England confirm football's appeal


England’s Harry Kane celebrates scoring the side’s second goal of the game (Mike Egerton/PA)

England’s Harry Kane celebrates scoring the side’s second goal of the game (Mike Egerton/PA)

England’s Harry Kane celebrates scoring the side’s second goal of the game (Mike Egerton/PA)

More than one million people tuned in to RTÉ to watch England’s victory over Denmark in the Euro 2020 semi-final.

Many of Ireland’s die-hard soccer fans may have insisted they would not be cheering on England in their Euros clash with Denmark.

But the viewing figures tell a different story after an average of 888,800 viewers tuned in to RTÉ2 to watch them beat the Danes 2-1 on Wednesday night.

This was the equivalent of a 61pc share of the available audience, with a further 193,000 streams on the RTÉ Player. The national broadcaster’s coverage peaked at 1.04 million viewers.

Despite Ireland having failed to qualify, coverage of the tournament has been performing very well for RTÉ.

Tuesday night’s semi-final, which culminated in a dramatic penalty shoot-out and saw Italy coming out on top over Spain, pulled in an average of 585,800 viewers, peaking at 756,400.

Forty-one per cent of people watching TV in Ireland at the time were tuned in to the coverage, with a further 157,000 streams on the RTÉ Player.

This adds to more than 27 million people who tuned in to ITV's coverage of the game in the UK setting a new record for a soccer match shown on a single British channel.

The final showdown of the Euros between England and Italy will be broadcast live on RTÉ 2 on Sunday from 7pm.

However, some viewers have been left less than impressed with RTÉ’s post-match analysis being cut too short to allow for repeats of RTÉ comedy Bridget & Eamon starring Jennifer Zamparelli.

Many of them took to social media to complain that RTÉ should have given more time to its commentators to dissect some of the controversies that arose during the England match, including a laser pointer that was aimed at Denmark’s goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

However, it is understood this is due to a contractual arrangement between Uefa and RTÉ that states it had to be off air at a certain time to allow for a separate programme showing the highlights.

Uefa has since charged England over the laser-pointer incident.

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