Strong Nations League audiences as France qualify and Germany, Italy close in
France's victory over Portugal on Saturday night to secure qualification for the Uefa Nations League Finals was one of the most-watched games of the national team since it won the World Cup two years ago.
The 1-0 win in Lisbon was watched by an average of 7.2 million on commercial broadcaster TF1.
That equated to a market share of 27.4 per cent, according to Médiamétrie.
Since winning the World Cup in Russia, only France's 1-1 draw with Turkey, which was shown on commercial rival M6, in a Euro 2020 qualifier 13 months ago has attracted a higher average audience, at 7.39 million (a 31.4 per cent share).
TF1 and M6 share rights to France's qualifying matches for the 2022 Fifa World Cup and Uefa Nations League, with M6 to show tomorrow's home game against Sweden.
Also on Saturday, Germany moved to within a point of a place in the Nations League Finals with a 3-1 win over Ukraine in Leipzig.
German public-service broadcaster ZDF reported an average of 8.16 million viewers for its live coverage, a 26.1 per cent market share.
All four of Germany's previous Nations League games in the present cycle have averaged around 8 million viewers, with the best to date being the 8.18 million that tuned in for the 3-3 draw with Switzerland last month.
Germany must avoid defeat in Spain tomorrow to qualify for next year's Finals, with the game to be shown by rival public-service broadcaster ARD.
Spain's 1-1 draw against Switzerland on Saturday drew an audience of 3.7 million people on La1, the main channel of public-service broadcaster RTVE, with a share of 21.8 per cent.
Italy also remain on course for the Finals, after a 2-0 victory over Poland yesterday, which was watched by an average 6.63 million people on public-service broadcaster Rai. The market share was 23.6 per cent. Italy will qualify with victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday.
TF1, ZDF, La1 and Rai won the night in their respective markets.
In the other big TV market in Europe, the UK, England's 2-0 defeat to Belgium yesterday, which ended their Finals hopes, was shown exclusively by pay-TV broadcaster Sky, and audience figures have not been released.