World Cup 2022: Welsh football gets one of its biggest ever UK TV audiences

221122 Gareth Bale celebrates
Audience peaked at 13 million during Monday night's game

ITV’s coverage of Wales opening World Cup game was one of the most watched Welsh football games ever in the UK. Peaking at an audience of 13 million viewers across TV and streaming platforms, the game saw a 1-1 draw between Cymru and the USA following a penalty in the 82nd minute.

The figures, which were released on Tuesday, do not include those who watching in pubs and fan zones.

In contrast, a peak of eight million people tuned in for England's comprehensive victory over Iran on BBC TV earlier on in the day.

Wales' Euro 2016 quarter-final clash with Belgium peaked at slightly more at 13.4m and its semi-final match against Portugal in the same tournament peaked at more than 15.5m.

A statement from ITV said the tournament coverage gave the channel its most watched day so far this year, and the "best daily share performance since July 2021".

"It was the most watched Monday night for more than six years - the highest since England’s Euro 2016 exit against Iceland.  

"And 1.2m viewers aged 16-34s watched the coverage - ITV1's biggest overnight audience for young people outside of its viewership for I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!

"ITV also had its biggest day of the year so far for streaming, with 13.4 million streams across the day."

Audeince share for ITV was even higher in Wales with 69% of the available TV audience watching the game.

Wales fans have been praised for their passion by people all over the world. Credit: PA

During the match Wales' national anthem received praise from people across the world - including USA Fans.

It was the first time Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau was sung at a World Cup.

The build up to the game saw some controversy following the confiscation of some FAW staff's rainbow-coloured merchandise.

Amongst those asked to take off their rainbow bucket hat were former Wales International footballer Laura McAllister and FAW staff.

Ms McAllister said she was furious at being told to take her hat off but told ITV it was important to "stick to our values".

Wales' next game is against Iran on Friday morning.

England's clash with their group opponents saw the Iranian players stand in silence during their country's national anthem.

It was viewed as a stand of solidarity with those being mistreated, imprisoned and killed while protesting for gender equality in Iran.