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Audience peaks at 24 million for England's win over Colombia Sports

Fans at Luna Beach Cinema, Brighton, celebrate England winning the penalty shoot out in the match between Colombia and England during the FIFA World Cup 2018. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 3, 2018. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

By Ian Jones, Press Association

England's World Cup win over Colombia was watched by an average 16.5 million people, with the audience peaking at 24.4 million, ITV has said.

The figures are the highest for any World Cup match so far this year.

England's previous games attracted an average audience of 13.7 million (against Tunisia), 9.9 million (Panama) and 13.0 million (Belgium).

ITV's coverage of the Colombia match is now the most-watched TV programme of 2018.

The audience peak of 24.2 million came at 9.52pm, when Eric Dier scored England's winning penalty.

At this point roughly four in five people watching TV in the UK (81%) were tuned to ITV.

When the full ratings are published - which will include those who recorded and watched up to seven days later - the overall average is likely to rank as one of the top 10 TV audiences for an England World Cup game.

The biggest-ever audience is 25.2 million, for England's semi-final against West Germany in 1990.

The BBC has the rights to England's next 2018 World Cup game, which is against Sweden in the quarter-finals at 3pm on Saturday July 7.

If England win, the team's semi-final match will be shown by ITV.

Pic by Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

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