The UEFA Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid on Saturday (May 29) secured healthy free-to-air (FTA) viewing figures in major European markets despite a delayed start due to crowd issues outside the Stade de France in Paris, France.

The match was scheduled to start at 9PM CET (8PM BST) but was postponed by 36 minutes as police and security faced difficulties managing crowds outside the stadium amid claims ticketless fans were trying to force their way in.

Despite the delay, an average 5.9 million viewers in France, a 33.4% share, watched Spanish giants Real Madrid beat English heavyweights Liverpool to become European champions on commercial broadcaster TF1, while 1.06 million subscribers watched on pay-television broadcaster Canal Plus.

The figures in the host country were much higher than that of last year’s final between English teams Chelsea and Manchester City, which attracted an FTA audience of just 2.4 million on Altice-owned FTA digital terrestrial channel RMC Story.

Spanish FTA rightsholder RTVE, meanwhile, announced it had secured an average audience of 7.7 million viewers, a 52.8% market share, making it the most-watched Champions League final in Spain since the 2014 edition between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, for which there was an average audience of 11 million (62.1% market share).

Viewership for Saturday’s match on RTVE’s La1 channel peaked at 8.7 million at 11.30PM CET while streaming service RTVE Play registered 718,500 unique visitors. Up to 12,391,000 viewers watched the match at some point, according to RTVE data.

This was the first time RTVE broadcast the Champions League since 2015 after striking a sub-licensing deal with Movistar, the Telefonica-owned pay-television broadcaster.

Elsewhere, Germany’s public broadcaster ZDF acquired an average audience of 8.4 million viewers, a 34.5% share, for the final. DAZN, the subscription over-the-top streaming service, also aired the match live.

ZDF’s last showing of a Champions League final in 2020, between Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, attracted an audience of 12.8 million viewers, a 39.9% market share. Last year’s match was not shown on FTA television in the country.

Italy’s Canale 5, Mediaset’s FTA commercial broadcaster, netted an average audience of 6.1 million, a 33.7% share, while pay-television Sky Italia attracted 1.07 million subscribers for the match.

In the UK, pay-television broadcaster BT Sports aired the final and streamed it live on YouTube FTA. No viewing figures have been released yet.