WEDNESDAY: Tottenham Hotspur’s battling draw against AC Milan to reach the quarter final of the Uefa Champions League scored a peak of nearly 8m viewers for ITV.

Coverage from White Hart Lane kicked off at 7.30pm with an audience of 3.92m (19.14%) on ITV1 and ITV1 HD, according to overnight Barb figures supplied by Attentional.

The audience rose to 5.1m (23.53%) as the game got underway at 7.45pm and continued to rise over the course of the first half, with AC Milan dominating possession as they attempted to overturn their 1-0 first leg defeat at the San Siro last month.

Some 6.36m (26.03%) viewers rejoined the action after half time and the audience again continued its upward trajectory. Viewing figures eventually reached a peak of 7.88m (31.72%) at 9.30pm in the final five minutes of the game, as Spurs held firm for a goalless draw and ensured their progression to the next round.

Overall, the Champions League clash was watched by an average of 5.98m (25.52%) viewers from 7.30pm to 10pm, of which 670,800 (2.86%) watched on ITV1 HD. A further 45,200 (0.21%) watched an hour later on time-adjusted ITV1+1.

MasterChef suffers

The strong performance, thought to be Spurs’ biggest TV audience in years, meant that MasterChef suffered, dipping to its lowest point of the series so far.

The cookery competition was seen by an average audience of 4.42m (18.43%) over the 9pm hour on BBC1 and BBC1 HD – down on the previous low of 4.48m (17.28%) on 17 February.

Jamie’s Dream School continued for Channel 4, registering 1.89m (7.9%) viewers in the same slot as MasterChef, while an additional 345,200 (2.1%) watched  on time-adjusted C4+1. It was slightly down on last week’s total audience of 2.4m (10.08%).

BBC2’s 23 Week Babies: the Price of Life raised an audience of 1.9m (7.9%) over the 9pm hour. It was preceded by new series the Great British Food Revival, which cooked up an above average 2.31m (9.7%) viewers at 8pm and a further 33,300 (0.14%) on BBC HD.

Channel 5’s NCIS arrested 2.04m (8.5%) over the 9pm hour.