England’s semi-final loss to Holland at Euro 2017 was watched by a British record television audience for women’s football.
A peak of four million people and an average of 2.6 million watched England’s 3-0 defeat by the host nation in Enschede on Thursday.
The match was screened live by Channel 4 and the viewing figures eclipse the previous best mark for a women’s match of 3.3 million for England’s quarter-final victory over France last Sunday.
These numbers follow the general trend that has seen media and public interest reach unprecedented levels for a women’s European Championship.
Organisers UEFA accredited 132 media for England’s semi-final at the sold-out 30,000-capacity FC Twente Stadion, including 89 in the press seats. There were also 43 photographers in the arena.
England boss Mark Sampson put aside the disappointment of defeat to thank the media for their contribution during his post-match press conference.
Sampson, who earned a round of applause for his comments, said: “Can I just say thank you to everyone for the support we’ve had over the course of the tournament. I think the coverage has been to a level we’ve never felt before.
“I’ve enjoyed some good times and bad times with you guys but certainly your support has been fantastic. I really appreciate you all coming out and I would encourage you to keep coming to our WSL (Women’s Super League) and national team fixtures. Safe trip home.”