[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Sunday, 21 October 2007, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
World Cup attracts 15.8m viewers
England rugby fans
Millions of fans watched the match in local pubs
England's defeat to South Africa in the Rugby World Cup dominated Saturday's TV viewing, with audience figures peaking at 15.8m towards the final whistle.

According to overnight figures an average of 12.8m people tuned in to ITV1 to watch the match at the Stade de France in Paris.

Figures do not include the millions of people who packed into pubs to watch the game from there.

South Africa took the title after winning 15-6.

Ben Cohen, who was part of the 2003 World Cup-winning squad, said England's dramatic tournament would benefit the sport.

"It is good for English rugby," he said. "We've got people watching the game again, supporting the team again and interested in rugby again, and that has got to be a good thing."

Fans descended upon the Eiffel Tower where a screen was erected for the game and in the UK, 5,000 fans travelled to London's O2 Arena where the match was also shown.

Ratings for BBC One suffered slightly with only 4.7m people tuning in to watch the latest episode of Casualty.

Last week, the show drew in an average audience of 5.4m.

Audience figures for the weekly National Lottery show were also significantly lower than normal.

England 6-15 South Africa
20 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union
World Cup final photos
20 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union
England v South Africa as it happened
20 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific