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England SMASH huge viewing figures with historic Cricket World Cup final win

Ben Stokes hits out as England win the Word Cup final
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Four and half million fans tune into Channel 4 for incredible super over

Nearly eight million viewers watched the closing moments of England’s amazing Cricket Word Cup final win over New Zealand – four and half million of them via free-to-air television on Channel 4.

Following an agreement with rights-holders Sky, who also attracted millions of viewers for its coverage, Channel 4 showed the first free-to-air England match for 14 years.

England celebrate winning the Cricket World Cup fina

Champions! England celebrate winning their first ever Cricket World Cup (picture: NurPhoto via Getty Images) (Image credit: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The viewing figure would likely have been even higher had the closing overs not have clashed with a gripping Wimbledon men’s final, being shown on BBC1, which saw Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer in a five-set thriller.

Those who did tune into the Cricket World Cup final were arguably treated to the greatest game in the sport’s history.

Viewing figures peaked during the super over, which ended with New Zealand needing just two runs from the final ball to claim victory. However, a scrambling Martin Guptill was run out as England’s Jos Butler lunged to whip off the bails, kicking off wild celebrations at a packed Lord’s.

Jos Butler celebrates in the Cricket World Cup final

That's out! Jos Butler starts the wild celebrations at Lord's after running out New Zealand's Martin Guptill in the Cricket World Cup final (picture Getty Images) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Free-to-air cricket coming soon to the BBC…

It’s been previously announced that the BBC and ECB has struck a five-year deal to make the broadcaster the “exclusive, free to air home for cricket”. The deal, which runs from 2020-2024, will feature live coverage of two England’s men’s international T20 matches, one England women’s T20 international, and some domestic games.

BBC Director General Tony Hall said when the deal was announced: “The BBC is delighted and the public will be too. It’s long been our ambition to bring live cricket back to BBC television. I’m thrilled to see that ambition realised. Cricket is an integral part of the British summer and the BBC will be putting its full weight behind the nation’s favourite summer sport."

Main picture Getty Images

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.


Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 


David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.


Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!