England more likely to win on the BBC

Date published: Sunday 5th June 2016 2:39

England: Can they really top Group B?

England are likely to perform better at Euro 2016 when their games are broadcast on the BBC if the last 20 years are anything to go by.

A study by Press Association Sport has found that the Three Lions have produced much better results during tournaments over the last two decades when shown on the Beeb rather than ITV.

So while there have been many contributing factors to England’s dismal performances in major competitions over the last two decades, from Urs Meier to Cristiano Ronaldo’s wink, just how much has the Three Lions’ fate been affected by which channel their game was broadcast on?

Going back as far as Euro 96, the data suggests England perform better on the BBC, having a win ratio of 55 per cent from the 18 games that have been exclusively shown on the channel, compared to a 25 per cent win rate of games shown on ITV.

Both percentages improve when factoring in shared coverage, with the BBC going to 57 per cent and ITV moving up to 32.

The BBC’s dominant record comes from screening the majority of England’s group stage wins over the last 20 years.

Of 11 group games going back to Euro 96, the Three Lions have won eight when exclusively on the BBC, with defeats to Romania at Euro 2000 and Italy at the 2014 World Cup and a draw with Nigeria at the 2002 World Cup blotting their copybook.

During that time they screened the win over Scotland at Euro 96, the 1-0 success against Argentina in 2002 and the 3-2 success against Sweden in Euro 2012.

Four of England’s six group game defeats have come when on ITV, losing to Romania during France 98, Portugal at Euro 2000, France at Euro 2004 and Uruguay in the 2014 World Cup.

ITV’s record has also been hampered by a string of draws, including the two drab affairs with the United States and Algeria at the 2010 World Cup, the 2002 and 2006 World Cup stalemates with Sweden and the Euro 2012 opener with France.

The only group game which the broadcasters shared coverage of was the famous 1-0 win over Germany at Euro 2000.

The BBC has been the dominant broadcaster in terms of showing knockout games as it has screened seven exclusively compared to just one on ITV alone.

That dominance obviously gives a far larger pool for a trend to emerge, especially given the nature of England’s performance in major tournaments.

There have been two wins and five defeats in those BBC games.

READ MORE: Sinclair not keen on ‘unbalanced’ England

The victories came against Spain in Euro 96 and Ecuador in the 2006 World Cup, with defeats against Germany (Euro 96 and 2010 World Cup), Portugal (Euro 2004 and 2006 World Cup) and Italy (Euro 2012).

ITV, hamstrung by having first-choice picks on games later on in tournaments that England have exited early, screened the last-16 tie in France 98 where Glenn Hoddle’s side were beaten by Argentina.

The two channels shared coverage of England’s knockout games during the 2002 World Cup, where they beat Denmark in the last 16 before losing to Brazil in the quarter-finals.

So, what does that mean for Euro 2016?

Well, England’s Group B opener against Russia and final game against Slovakia are on ITV, meaning we should probably expect at least one draw.

History suggests the Three Lions will win their outing on the BBC against Wales before we step into the unknown as the commercial channel has rights for a potential last-16 game.

If Roy Hodgson’s men can get through that, brace yourself for yet another penalty shoot-out defeat in the quarter-final on the BBC.

The record
BBC exclusively: P18 W10 D1 L7
ITV exclusively: P16 W4 D7 L5
BBC (inc shared games): P21 W12 D1 L8
ITV (inc shared games): P19 W6 D7 L6

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