Uefa, the governing body of European football, has said that more than two billion people watched its Euro 2016 national team tournament live on television.
According to Uefa research reported by the Associated Press news agency, the total cumulative live audience for the tournament, which took place in France from June 10 to July 10, was almost five billion.
Some 600 million viewers watched part of Portugal’s 1-0 extra-time victory against France in the final, which attracted an “average in-home global audience” of 284.4 million. The match was the second most-viewed in European Championship history after Spain’s 4-0 victory over Italy in the Euro 2012 final.
The tournament expanded from 16 teams to 24 this year and the extra games added 1.1 billion viewers to the overall television audience. Uefa said that the figure of two billion individual viewers represented an increase of 100 million from Euro 2012, which was staged in Ukraine and Poland.
Some Euro 2016 games got underway at 1pm GMT and the earlier kick-off times led to higher audience figures in Asia, with France’s round-of-16 win against Ireland on June 26 attracting 17.6 million viewers in China.
The final was watched by an average audience of more that 25.7 million in Brazil, eight million in China and 5.3 million in the US.
Uefa earned €1.05bn ($1.1bn) in television rights from 130 broadcast partners for Euro 2016.