Football ratings records fall in France and Italy

French pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus enjoyed record ratings for its coverage of the dramatic conclusion to the Ligue 1 football season.

The broadcaster’s Multifoot service secured an audience share of 11.9 per cent, 44.9 per cent of the country’s total pay-television audience, for Sunday evening’s final round of games. The figures eclipsed Canal Plus’s previous record for a championship climax, which was set in 1997-98.

Montpellier claimed its first-ever Ligue 1 title with a 2-1 victory at Auxerre. Canal Plus’s audience for the game peaked at 2.85 million viewers. The club began the day three points clear of title rival Paris Saint Germain, rendering the latter’s 2-1 win at Lorient academic.

In Italy, meanwhile, state broadcaster Rai recorded its highest-ever audience for the final of the Coppa Italia, and the highest ever in Italy for a Coppa match, for Sunday evening’s match between Napoli and Juventus.

The average live audience for Napoli’s 2-0 victory on Rai’s flagship channel Rai 1 was 11.586 million, an audience share of 42.44 per cent.

The record ratings came at a good time for the football league, Lega Serie A, which will shortly put out to market the media rights for the Coppa for the next three seasons, from 2012-13 to 2014-15. Rai is expected to face competition for the rights to the final stages of the competition from pay-television operator Sky Italia and from Mediaset, which operates three free-to-air channels and the Mediaset Premium pay-television platform.