Eurodata also revealed that a growing number of online viewers tuned in on a range of devices.
Not surprisingly, French viewers were gripped, with 19.3m viewers watching the match on TF1, which kicked off at 5pm local time. 1.5m viewers in Croatia – an 81% share – watched their team battle manfully to a 4-2 defeat.
German viewers were also glued to the game, despite their team’s shock elimination earlier in the tournament. The match drew 21.3m viewers in Germany, while the UK audience peaked at 11.3m.
Outside Europe, China registered its highest audience for a sporting event, with 56m watching the broadcast, which aired at 11pm local time. That was the biggest sporting audience since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
One of the notable developments from Eurodata’s findings for this year’s final was the numbers watching on internet devices in France. Over half a million viewers saw the game on a smartphone, tablet or computer.
According to Yassine Berhoun, sports director at Eurodata TV Worldwide: “The 2018 FIFA World Cup ended on a climax in an epic European confrontation. This clearly shows once again that even at the age of mobile devices and non-linear viewing, major sports events are the only shows capable of gathering such large audiences in front of a TV set”.