Real Madrid’s 1-0 victory over Liverpool in the Champions League final set a record for the largest audience to view the final in the U.S. on English-language television.
Nielsen ratings show the game Saturday averaged 2.76 million viewers on CBS, surpassing the previous mark of 2.6 million for the 2011 final between Barcelona and Manchester United on Fox.
It is also a 23% increase over last year’s final between Chelsea and Manchester City (2.10 million). The match Saturday peaked at 3.24 million viewers near the end of the game (5:15-5:30 p.m. EDT).
This was the second straight year the final has aired on CBS. The network won the rights to UEFA’s Champions and Europa leagues in November 2019 but was not supposed to start televising the competitions until last August. But Turner opted out of its deal in July 2020 and CBS picked up the end of the 2020 tournament and 2021 competition.
It is the fifth time the game has averaged at least 2 million fans on a broadcast network. The others were Barcelona-Juventus in 2015 (2.2 million) and Real Madrid-Liverpool in 2018 (2.01 million). Fox carried the Champions League from 2010-18.