Page last updated at 13:19 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 14:19 UK

Man Utd win 'is biggest TV hit'

Manchester United
Manchester United won 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw

Live coverage of the Champions League final penalty shoot-out was the most watched television moment of the year so far, ITV has said.

The broadcaster said its audience peaked at 14.6 million as Manchester United beat Chelsea in Moscow.

Overall, 11.1 million watched the whole match, which was drawn at 1-1 at full time before going to extra time and the penalty shoot-out.

BBC One's The Apprentice was hit by the football, with five million tuning in.

This was 1.7 million down on last week's instalment.

At its peak, ITV secured a 60% share of viewers, with a 46% share for the whole match.

A further two million viewers watched Sky Sports' coverage of the match - the channel's best ratings for a Champions League final since 2004.

'Superb season'

Im delighted that almost fifteen million watched ITV1s coverage of the final crowning a superb season of Champions League football in which there has been an unprecedented level of British success," Mark Sharman, ITV director of news and sport said.

"The viewing figures once again reaffirm the power of top level football events on free-to-air television in uniting mass audiences."

An average of 6.2 million watched all of ITV1s live Champions League coverage this season making it the most-watched season for five years.

Neither ITV1 nor Sky Sports figures take into account the thousands of extra fans that watched the match in pubs and clubs across the country.

Earlier this year, both broadcasters announced they had retained the rights to show Champions League matches until 2012.


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