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TV figures hit three-year high

The UEFA Champions League action this week was watched by 62 million viewers in the major TV markets.

More excellent TV statistics are emerging from this week’s memorable action in the UEFA Champions League.

62 million
The four exciting quarter-final second-leg matches on Tuesday and Wednesday saw viewing figures in the six major markets reach 62 million for the matchweek – the highest figures for over three years.

Spanish high
In Spain, a season's high of 8.1 million viewers – a 54 per cent share of the market - watched the spectacular entertainment at Old Trafford on Wednesday, which ended with title-holders Real Madrid CF overcoming Manchester United FC to reach the last four of European club football's blue-riband competition. The same game also attracted a season's high in France, with 6.8 million watching the action from Manchester.

Best for three years
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, an outstanding 10.6 million viewers (44.9 per cent market share) tuned into the United-Madrid match, the highest UEFA Champions League audience recorded by broadcaster ITV1 since the corresponding fixture between the two teams in 1999/2000. The audience peaked at full time, with 12.9 million viewers (52 per cent market share) watching the climax to the match at Old Trafford.

Exceptional Italian figures
In Italy, there were two exceptional audiences on Canale 5. Wednesday's cliffhanger between AC Milan and AFC Ajax, which Milan won 3-2 with a last-gasp goal, attracted 9.4 million viewers – the highest live match audience in Italy since the 1998/99 semi-finals. An equally exciting match between FC Barcelona and Juventus FC on Tuesday was watched by 8.1 million viewers. The match in Barcelona brought excellent viewing figures of 7 million in Spain.

'Fantastic competition'
UEFA was delighted at the TV viewing figures. "This week has confirmed what a fantastic competition the UEFA Champions League is," said UEFA communications and public affairs director Mike Lee. "We have seen some amazing football and tremendous goals, and the matches have been watched by millions of fans. The supporters have shown their appreciation in the stadium and in front of their televisions. This has been a great advert for European football."