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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 May 2006, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
FA Cup shoot-out watched by 11m
Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard lifts the cup after Liverpool's dramatic victory
The BBC's coverage of the FA Cup Final was the most-watched sporting event of the year so far, according to unofficial overnight figures.

The match started with 6.8 million viewers, but rose to 11.3m as Liverpool won the penalty shoot-out which decided the tie against West Ham United.

A further 700,000 saw coverage of the game on Sky Sports 1.

As the match went into extra-time and penalties, some 65% of all viewers were watching the BBC's coverage.

West Ham had looked set to win the match, widely acclaimed as the most exciting FA Cup Final in recent years, until Steven Gerrard equalised for Liverpool in the dying minutes of normal time, making the score 3-3.

Neither team scored in extra time, and Liverpool won the penalty shoot-out 3-1.

The figures are for viewers who watched the match at home, and do not include those who saw it in pubs or clubs.

An average of 6.55m saw BBC One's entire coverage, including two hours of build-up.

The return of the Cybermen to Doctor Who for the first time in 15 years was also a ratings hit, attracting 8.6 million viewers later in in the evening.

A BBC spokeswoman said the corporation was "delighted" with the viewing figures.

"They show the nation is warming up for the World Cup next month," she added.


SEE ALSO
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