A win for terrestrial Television: Nottingham Forest's FA Cup run attracts more viewers than Carabao Cup final


The magic of the FA Cup is still very much alive and kicking in English football, and that has been shown by the latest viewing figures.

Liverpool lifted the Carabao Cup on Sunday, beating Chelsea on penalties after an enthralling match somehow ended scoreless, and the competition's organisers were quick to announce that peak viewership stood at over 4 million, the highest of the 2021/22 season for host station Sky Sports.

However, figures obtained by 101 show that it was far from the most viewed game of the campaign when all platforms are taken into consideration.

In fact, the crown remains firmly on the head of terrestrial TV channels BBC and ITV, who provide coverage of the FA Cup, England's oldest competition.

Giant killings still sell

And, if one thing remains true, it is that giant killings and the romance of the cup still attract viewers.

Championship outfit Nottingham Forest, who have knocked out both Arsenal and Leicester City consecutively on their way to the fifth round, had a higher peak and average viewership than the Carabao Cup final.

The clash with Arsenal, broadcast on ITV 1, attracted a peak viewership of 5.21 million people, while it held an average of 3.58 million people for the duration of the 90 minutes as the underdogs completed a 1-0 upset thanks to a late Lewis Grabban goal.

Meanwhile, during the BBC's coverage of their 4-1 demolition of current cup-holders Leicester City in the fourth round, the viewership peaked at 4.76 million, while the game held an average audience of 3.58 million viewers. Impressive stuff for a Championship side.

As football increasingly moves away from terrestrial TV, these numbers are likely to drop with them. Forest's run could be one of the last of its kind.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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