England Vs. Russia Soccer Match Draws Record 14 Million Viewers to ITV

England Vs. Russia Soccer Match Draws
Courtesy of Kieran McManus/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

England’s match against Russia in the European soccer championship on Saturday drew a peak audience of 14.1 million viewers to U.K. free-to-air broadcaster ITV, making it the biggest audience for any program on British TV this year. The match, which ended in a one-all draw, had an average audience of 12.9 million.

The occasion was marred by violent clashes before, during and after the match between supporters of the two teams, and with local people and police in the host city, Marseille. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve responded by calling on cities hosting matches to ban the sale and consumption of alcohol near venues and fan zones.

Uefa, European soccer’s governing body, has threatened to expel both teams from the competition if their supporters are involved in further violence.

A peak audience of 8.6 million viewers watched France’s victory over Romania on ITV in the competition’s opening match on Friday.

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