UK free-to-air network ITV has revealed that the March 17 English men's FA Cup soccer match between Manchester United and Liverpool drew the highest UK audience of 2024 across all television channels.

A peak audience of 8.6 million viewers was recorded as the game went into extra time courtesy of a late Manchester United equalizer in the quarter-final tie of the annual cup competition.

It marks the highest viewership recorded for an FA Cup quarter-final since 2018, and firmly exceeded the UK public service broadcaster BBC’s coverage of the third-round fixture between Liverpool and Arsenal on January 7, which notched 7.6 million viewers.

That match, a record for a third-round tie, was also streamed two million times on the BBC’s iPlayer OTT service, whereas ITV has not released viewership figures from its own newer ITVX service, meaning it is less comparable streaming-wise.

The match capped off a strong week of sports viewership for ITV, which also broadcast horse racing’s Cheltenham festival throughout the week and the prior weekend had notched strong viewing for rugby’s Six Nations.

England’s upset victory over Ireland in the March 9 Six Nations fixture broadcast on ITV notched a 6.6 million peak viewership, the highest of the competition.

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Despite the strong performance of the FA Cup on ITV, this will be the penultimate season of its broadcast on the free-to-air channel.

BBC and ITV currently split the rights to the FA Cup, in a deal that will last through the end of the 2024-25 season.

Following that, however, ITV will likely lose its coverage of the competition as the rights were acquired by pay-TV broadcaster TNT Sports.

BBC agreed to a sublicense deal with TNT Sports earlier in March that will see two FA Cup matches from each round up to the quarter-finals, one semi-final, and the final, remain free to air, beating out ITV for the competition.