FA Cup
Credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire/PA Images

BBC’s broadcast of the FA Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea recorded a peak viewership of 8.2m, becoming the most-watched football match this season.

The final recorded a 46.1 per cent audience share across all platforms, moreover, the overall viewership is expected to be even higher with the match also co-broadcast on BT Sport.

Chelsea’s semi-final victory over Manchester United on July 19, which saw 7.3m viewers watch on BBC, was the previous holder of the title of most watched football match this campaign.

In fact, despite multiple Premier League matches being available on free-to-air channels such as Pick and the BBC, the top seven highest viewed football fixtures of the 2019-20 season were all FA Cup matches.

Following the array of FA Cup matches was yet another BBC broadcast with its Southampton v Manchester City Premier League fixture recording approximately 5.7m viewers. 

The impressive figure was the competition’s most watched match of all time beating the previous record of 5.5m from Sky’s broadcast of the Merseyside Derby in June, which is the ninth watched match this season.

Despite the impressive figures the FA Cup final is a long way off being the most watched football-match of all time with the 1966 World Cup final between England and West Germany still holding the record with an impressive 32.3m figure.

The 1970 FA Cup final replay between Chelsea and Leeds remains the most popular fixture in the competition garnering approximately 28.5m viewers.

Insider Sport: BBC’s FA Cup viewership is a testament to the popularity of the competition in England. Despite the fact that this season fans were rewarded with free-to-air Premier League matches following the global health pandemic, more people tuned in to see the cup competition thus highlighting the importance of the tournament.