The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has revealed that the three shows of Eurovision 2018 reached a global audience of 186 million people.

Looking at the grand final on Saturday, Eurovision was a huge win for participating countries in general. It achieved an average audience share of 35.8%. That’s roughly in line with last year — and “more than double the average prime-time viewing share for the same group of channels (15.3%).”

As in recent years, the contest proved particularly popular in courting younger audiences.

Around 43% of 15-24 year olds watched the grand final, “which is four times higher than the broadcast channels average of 10.6%” for Saturday evening.

Eurovision 2018 Viewing Figures

The EBU said:

“Winning country Israel delivered its largest audience since 2005 on KAN. An average 1 million viewers watched the Grand Final, accounting for 50.9% of Israeli TV viewing.”

“2nd placed Cyprus had its best ever result and its highest audience on record (since 2003), with 250 thousand viewers accounting for 77.4% of Cypriot TV viewing.”

“Germany (ARD) saw the highest average viewing figures for the 8th consecutive year (7.7m). The UK’s audience on BBC One was up 5% on 2017 with 7 million viewers on average tuning in. While France (France 2) had the highest viewing figures since 2009, up 10% on last year to 5.2 million.”

“Spain’s LA1 delivered the largest increase in viewers year on year, almost doubling its 2017 audience to deliver 6.4m viewers (42.2% share). This made the country the third biggest market overall and RTVE’s biggest ESC audience since 2008.”

“Host country Portugal’s Grand Final audience was up 10% on 2017. 1.5 million Portuguese tuned in making it their biggest ESC audience since 2008 and giving host broadcaster RTP a 36.4% audience share.”

“Iceland once again delivered the largest viewing share of all the markets (95.3%), despite its entry not making it to the final for a fourth consecutive year.”

We’ve pulled numbers for some other markets that weren’t mentioned by the EBU.

Italy posted big numbers, with an average of 3.4 million viewers. That marks the second most watched edition since the country’s return in 2011.

Probably owing to non-qualification, there was a dramatic decrease in viewers in Poland, where only 1.4 million viewers tuned into the grand final. That’s down from 2.7 million last year.

Back in the final for the first time since 2016, Serbia saw a share of 30.3% and 2.3 million viewers tuning in to watch.

In the Netherlands, 3 million people tuned in to watch the grand final which is down one million from the last two years.

Saara Aalto helped push up viewing figures in Finland, where around 2.1 million Finns tuned in. That’s a huge increase from last year’s 525,000.

Interest for the contest increased slightly in the USA with 74,000 viewers tuning in to watch this year. That’s up from 64,000 last year and 52,000 in 2016.

Overall the American audience remains rather paltry. As a point of comparison, more people watched our YouTube interview with Salvador Sobral than tuned into Eurovision in the United States.

What were the ratings like in your country? Let us know down below!

Photo: Thomas Hanses (EBU)

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26 Comments on "Eurovision 2018: Viewing figures climb to 186 million…as Spain posts biggest year-on-year gain"

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Alex
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Id like to know how many people watched the contest in Australia, Russia and Czech Republic.

Norway had extremely high ratings too (70% i think), Denmark increased a lot but Sweden drew “only”2,5m viewers.

I wonder how many people watched the semifinal 1 in China…

Julian
Guest

2015 had 200 mill, 2016 had 204 mill. Last year, without Russia the biggest participant country there were 180 mill. This year, with Russia, 186 mill. It is a decline in audience, still not very dangerous. Yet.

James
Guest

That’s partially due to the fact that a number of previously regular faces in the Grand Final in past years were largely absent this time around so viewership from Russia, Romania and Azerbaijan likely (and understandably) drew fewer viewers.

Alex
Guest

Russia yes but Azerbaijan and Romania do not bring millions of viewers. If only Italy had more interest in the contest…

Adam
Guest

“Around 43% of 15-24 year olds watched the grand final”

Don’t you mean that 43% of those watching watching were 15-24?

Cesar
Guest

The YouTube streaming of the semifinals and the final was and it’s still blocked for Latin America. I was able to watch final on Television Española Internacional, on cable. Don’t know why this change from 2017 to 2018. Past year i was able to watch all on YouTube.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

They better fix it before I move to Uruguay in a few years.

taytay
Guest

urugay

James
Guest

The US ratings is at least worth celebrating due to the fact that while the contest aired on a niche channel that doesn’t really have a significant share of the ratings pie out of all entertainment channels in the country, and it was airing on daytime where viewership levels are typically low in that particular time period, Logo TV still managed to see an increase in viewers tuning in to the broadcast year-to-year.

Alex
Guest

That’s still extremely low for such a big event like Eurovision. I guess Europeans living in US prefer to watch the show on EU channels.

James
Guest

There are alternative channels to Logo that air the show stateside as well (or at least those that I know of). Deutsche Welle, RTP and TVE Internacional.

Malma
Guest

Anyone know the Australian viewing figures this year? Thanks 🙂

LeGrand
Guest

Streets in Israel were literally deserted on the night of the final…
One would assume that a war is taking place had s/he strolled the streets of Tel Aviv …

Boycott Jerusalem 2019
Guest
Boycott Jerusalem 2019

Not sure what is the time Eurovision is airing live in US timezone but gay bars across the states should definitely treat it like RPDR and make viewing parties. It would be so much fun.

James
Guest

The Grand Final aired at around 3pm Eastern live across all US timezones. 🙂

Jeff
Guest

In the east it aired at 3pm Midwest 2pm Rocky Mountains 1 pm and in the west noon so I’d say little activities were happening at the bars.

Crystal
Guest
Don’t forget that the American broadcast took place on a channel that is not the most widely available (and is primarily used these days as a syndication network, airing syndicated reruns of sitcoms like “The Golden Girls”, “Mama’s Family”, and “Married…with Children” and is down to maybe one or two original series running, as “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has moved its first-run broadcasts to the more widely available VH1) and with only about two weeks’ worth of on-air promotion prior to the Contest. The fact that the viewing figures are trending upward from year to year is promising. Imagine if Viacom… Read more »
James
Guest

I think on the corporate side, CBS has more of a synergetic relationship with Pop TV, the CW and Showtime than on the MTV side of the family. I think that has more to do with the currently relationship with Viacom and CBS Corp (which are in talks of remerging as one solely run company again but is facing some internal obstacles).

Jo.
Guest

I watched on Youtube. I remember seeing more than 14 million people watching the final on Youtube in the past. This year, just few hundred thousands, because of the geoblocking.

Jeff
Guest

I wish they did not do geoblocking. It’s a nuisance to me because I’m a hard core Eurovision fan in the US.

Anti-Jo
Guest

Sh ut Up! What @ b!tch!

Joe
Guest

The world loves Eurovision! Hopefully we’ll see even more next year. Americans are really starting to jump on the bandwagon (the commentary this year was excellent)!

Also, unrelated (largely), but here’s Cesar, Ryan, and Rasmussen harmonizing on each other’s songs. “Higher Ground” sounds amazing this way:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF7LbGYV-Rc