England 's Euro 2008 qualifier against Russia was a smash hit with the viewers on Wednesday, attracting a huge audience of 10.2m (43.3%) from 8pm. [ALL]
England 's Euro 2008 qualifier against Russia was a smash hit with the viewers last on Wednesday, attracting a huge audience of 10.2m (43.3%) from 8pm.

The crucial game at Wembley Stadium kicked off with 9.4m (42%) and, largely, rose throughout before hitting a sizeable peak of 10.7m (45.5%) for 15 minutes at 9.30pm.

Throughout the entire programme coverage, between 7.30pm and 10pm, BBC1 attracted a hefty 9m (39.5%).

It was the most watched sporting event on TV so far this year.

The previous highest audience had been 8.9m (39.8%) for ITV1's live coverage of Liverpool against Chelsea in the semi-final of the Champions League.

Shot in the arm

The live football also gave a massive shot in the arm to the corporation's 10pm news programme. The Ten O'clock Newsgained a sizeable 7.1m (39.2%) for 35 minutes. For the first 15 minutes it averaged 7.6m (39.6%).

It is the third highest rated news bulletin this year. On 14 February BBC1 averaged 7.4m (34.7%) in a 10pm slot. And ITV1's 10.30pm news gained 7.3m (30.6%) on 17 June.

BBC1's main rival managed to dominate the earlier part of peaktime thanks to its line up of soaps but once the football match started its audience quickly fell away.

Emmerdaleat 7pm brought in 7m (38.3%). This was followed half an hour later by Coronation Streeton 8.6m (41.9%).

The commercial network's audience though halved at 8pm with The Billbringing in a relatively low 4.3m (18.5%) for an hour. Hell's Kitchenat 9pm gained 3.5m (14.9%).

The fourth instalment of Holly and Fearne Go Datingat 10pm charmed 1.7m (9.6%).

Fighting for scraps

The remaining terrestrial channels never really got much of a look in.

BBC2's The Restaurantat 8pm had 1.4m (5.9%) while the continuing US drama Heroestook 1.9m (8.1%).

Channel 4 faired only slightly better. Supernannyat 8pm had 2.3m (9.7%) for an hour. A repeat of a Time Team Specialat 9pm only mustered 1.5m (6.5%). And the 10pm edition of Brothers and Sistersgained just 713,000 (4.4%).

Five had a particularly tough time with the channel falling to its worst all hours performance on a Wednesday since January 2003 with a share of 3.8%.

Five's 30 minute news programme at 7pm struggled on 183,000 (1%).

Its audience fell even further at 7.30pm as the eighth part of David Beckham's Soocer USAmanaged just 166,000 (0.8%). A two hour film starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino, Frankie and Johnny, interested 534,000 (2.3%).

Over in multichannel homes, Sky Sports 1's live coverage of the Scotland v France Euro 2008 qualifier managed to attract 309,000 (1.63%) over the entire coverage. Earlier in the day, the channel's coverage of Wales' match against Slovakia at 5pm had 196,000 (1.62%).

All hours shares for Wednesday 12 September 2007: BBC1 - 28.7%, ITV1 - 19%, C4 - 7.4%, BBC2 - 6.8%, Five - 3.8%, multichannel - 34.2%.

Peaktime (6pm to 10.30pm) shares: BBC1 - 34.8%, ITV1 - 21.7%, C4 - 7.4%, BBC2 - 6.8%, Five - 2.5%, multichannel - 26.8%.