Press Coverage: Andy Barnes comments on World Cup television coverage and the benefits for advertisers on ITV – Guardian website


The World Cup final is one of the rare events that pits ITV and BBC head to head in a battle for viewers. But if previous tournaments are anything to go by, the result will be a rating mismatch almost as one-sided as Germany’s humbling of Brazil in last week’s semi-final.

The advertising-free football coverage of the BBC has always proved more popular with armchair fans, and ITV’s simulcast of the final is likely to be outscored by about 5 to 1 on audience levels.