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TF1 nets peak-time record for PSG-Bayern final, ZDF audience nears 13m

Sunday evening’s Uefa Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain attracted strong free-to-air audiences in both France and Germany, including a record prime-time audience in France this year.

French commercial broadcaster TF1, which acquired sublicensed rights to the final in a deal with pay-television broadcaster RMC Sport, pulled in an average audience of 11.4 million viewers and a 46.2-per-cent market share, according to audience ratings measurement company Médiamétrie.

Bayern triumphed in the showpiece match in Lisbon, winning 1-0 thanks to a 59th minute header from French winger Kingsley Coman.

The Altice-owned RMC Sport, which also broadcast the match live, has not communicated its viewing figures.

TF1 struck a sublicensing deal with RMC Sport last month, followed by a similar agreement for free-to-air rights to Lyon’s Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich.

Broadcasters in France must ensure live free-to-air coverage of the Champions League final given the country’s listed events legislation.

Altice last year became embroiled in a row with French broadcast regulator CSA over the selection of its news-focused BFM TV channel to show the 2019 final. At the end of last year, the Conseil d’État, the highest administrative court in France, ruled that BFM TV was not authorised to broadcast last season’s final between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

The last Champions League final featuring a Ligue 1 team – the 2004 clash between Monaco and Porto – attracted an audience of 11 million viewers (and a 44-per-cent share) on TF1. Marseille’s victory against AC Milan in the 1993 Champions League final was watched by 16.5 million viewers on TF1, while the 1991 European Cup final between Marseille and Red Star Belgrade registered an average French television audience of 17.5 million viewers.

Meanwhile, German public broadcaster ZDF netted an average audience of 12.8 million viewers for last night’s final. The market share was equal to 39.9 per cent and the highest reach posted by a German free-to-air broadcaster this year. The audience peaked at 13.7 million viewers towards the end of the match.

ZDF’s audience among 14-to-49 year olds was an average of 4.3 million (a 42.3-per-cent share).

A further 1.04 million viewers watched the match on pay-television broadcaster Sky Deutschland. The audience on subscription OTT platform DAZN has not been divulged.

Despite the strong figures, ZDF could not get close to its average of 21.6 million viewers (and 61.9-per-cent share) for 2013’s all-German Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

Earlier this month, ZDF reached an agreement with Uefa, Sky and DAZN to show the 2020 final if a German team took part.

A Champions League final with German participation must be shown free-to-air in accordance with local listed-events legislation. Champions League coverage moved exclusively behind a pay wall in Germany in 2018 after ZDF was unable to hold on to its rights. However, the public broadcaster has already secured rights to the 2022, 2023 and 2024 Champions League finals as part of its rights package acquired for the new cycle.

In Italy, last night’s match attracted an audience of 5.7 million viewers (and 29.3-per-cent share) on Canale 5, the Mediaset-owned free-to-air commercial channel.

Spanish pay-television broadcaster Movistar TV registered an audience of 1.1 million viewers for the match.