More than 8 million Italians tune in as football returns - GulfToday

More than 8 million Italians tune in as football returns


AC Milan's goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma makes a save during an Italian Cup second leg soccer match at the Allianz stadium, in Turin. AP

The return of Italian football was a hit with television viewers in the country as more than eight million tuned in to watch the cup semi-final second leg between Juventus and AC Milan on Friday night.

The match was the first to be played in Italy since the coronavirus pandemic halted the season on March 9.

Italystadium-750x450Players observe a minutes silence before the match for the victims of the coronavirus disease. Reuters

The 0-0 stalemate, which was enough to send Juventus to the final, drew the biggest TV audience for a football match this term, Italian media reported on Saturday.

ronaldo--750x450Cristiano Ronaldo shoots on goal despite AC Milan's Algerian defender Ismael Bennacer (R) during the Italian Cup semi-final. AFP

When he authorised the resumption of football, Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora welcomed the fact the first matches would be in the Italian Cup, as they are broadcast free-to-air on national network RAI and are thus accessible to everyone.

On Friday, the match attracted almost 8.3 million viewers on RAI 1, with a 34 per cent market share.

The biggest audience before the lockdown was for the first leg of the semi-final which ended 1-1 attracted 8.09 million viewers.

ItalyTVmatch-750x450 Fans watch the match in Turin as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus. Reuters 

The national team, whose matches are also broadcast free-to-air on RAI, attracted 7.4 million viewers for their Euro 2020 qualifier against Bosnia last June.

Agence France-Presse

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