MORE than 44 million people are expected to tune in to watch the Euro 2020 final – making it the most watched event in UK TV history.
England will face Italy in their biggest game in more than half a century on Sunday, with record-breaking viewing figures predicted to smash those for the 1966 World Cup final.
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England fans in Newcastle Gateshead’s fans zone when England took on Denmark in the Euro 2020 semi finalsCredit: NNP
Football fans celebrate in Shoreditch, LondonCredit: The Sun
Millions will watch the game on TV, which is being shown both by the BBC and ITV, while others tune in on iPlayer and ITV Hub via phones, iPads and computers.
An additional two million – excluded from ratings – will watch in 35,000 pubs where beer chucking frenzy is expected to greet English goals.
Wednesday’s 2-1 semi-final triumph over Denmark was the most-watched football match ever on a single channel with figures of 27.6 million viewers on ITV.
But tomorrow’s final is poised to beat the 1966 World Cup Final (32.3million), Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997 (32.1million) and the Apollo 13 splashdown in 1970 (28.6 million).
It also smash Boris Johnson’s March 2020 lockdown broadcast (27.7 million) and the 2012 Olympics’ opening ceremony (26.9million).
The Beeb is set to thrash ITV in the ratings battle, with four times more viewers after the commercial channel’s commentary team was widely slated on Wednesday.
Ex-BBC director of sport Roger Mosey said: “I predict a significantly bigger TV audience than London 2012 and a landslide victory for the BBC over ITV.”
Fans celebrate England scoring against Germany at Boxpark in CroydonCredit: Rex
Supporters gather for Czech Republic v EnglandCredit: Reuters
Bookmakers Ladbrokes cut odds on the game being the most-watched event in UK history to 4/5.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: “Football is coming home and so is a record TV audience.”
As well as huge viewing figures, a whopping 7.1 million pints will be guzzled during the match, according to The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).
And throughout the day itself almost 13 million could be sold.
In total, a mighty £3.4 billion will have been spent on boozing, souvenirs and huge TVs thanks to the Euros, according to the Centre for Retail Research.
Supermarket tills will have taken £2.3 billion and more than £815 million will have been spent in pubs.
An estimated £563 million is expected to be splashed around Sunday’s final.
IT’S COMING HOME
VoucherCodes lifestyle editor Anita Naik said: “England reaching the final is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many people, with 44 million fans set to tune in.
“We’ve not seen numbers this high for a sporting event since England lifted the World Cup trophy in 1966.
“After a difficult year, the Euros have provided fans and the economy with a much-needed boost and Sunday’s final game will be no different.”
If England are victorious, it will be the squad’s first major win since 1966.
Its stars have vowed to celebrate in style should they triumph – with a Wild West trip to Las Vegas on the cards.
Party animal Jack Grealish and goalie Jordan Pickford have revealed they will lead a posse of players to the glitzy gambling mecca for a mega knees-up.
Pals set to join in the fun trip include lifelong pals Mason Mount and Declan Rice plus Three Lions teammate Ben Chilwell.
And football fans will also celebrate the win – with a late start on Monday and a potential extra Bank Holiday in August.
Schools and businesses are already planning on opening late on Monday to allow fans to recover from a late night.
And Boris is poised to give Brits an official day off if England ‘bring it home’ after more than 346,000 people signed a petition.
The public seem to think football is coming home, as Brits bet a massive £10 million on Betfair Exchange on England winning the tournament.
Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: “England are 4/5 favourites to beat Italy at Wembley on Sunday and bring football home for the first time since 1966 – and should that happen, it is odds-on at 1/5 for the government to grant the nation a bank holiday and 1/10 and 1/7 respectively for Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane to be knighted.
“Meanwhile, we’ve seen a whopping £10 million bet on England winning Euro 2020 out of £18m in total, which suggests confidence in football coming home is at an all-time high.”
Sunday’s game kicks off at 8pm.
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