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As well as the games playing out across our screens, this year’s Euros tournament has given rise to another competition: the battle of the broadcasters.

Football is big business. Viewing figures for England’s quarter final match against Ukraine peaked at 20.9 million on Saturday, with a further 5.2 million watching via the iPlayer and the BBC Sport website. That put it as the most-watched TV event of the year in the country, claiming 81.8% of the possible audience, and into the top 10 of UK broadcasts ever.

This evening, when England take on Denmark in the semi-finals, it’s ITV viewers will be tuning in to.

The BBC has long been the go-to network for major international football tournaments, but ITV has stepped up its game this time round. A new look line-up of pundits and commentators has served ITV well, chiming with a more social-media focussed, analytics-dependant fanbase that expects their presenters to deliver levels of insight and entertainment that were previously absent.

It’s been a good month for ITV. Having dropped out of the FTSE 100 list of the UK’s largest companies off the back of a painful pandemic period, the broadcaster made a swift return following the FTSE’s latest quarterly reshuffle last month. As well as the Euros, this summer has seen the return of its popular reality series Love Island. Both shows were cancelled during the height of the pandemic last year.


Now production has resumed on the network’s biggest grossing shows, companies are once again willing to pay up for top advertising slots. A 30 second advert break during this evening’s match is expected to cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, with the exact figure dependent on the performance of the match and the individual advert break in question.

It’s not just ITV that will be cheering England on this evening.

Pubs are an obvious beneficiary of big sporting events. A Barclaycard study found that spending in pubs was 16.8% higher around the period of the 2018 World Cup, the last major football tournament. While the pandemic means the figure is likely to be lower this year with social distancing measures still in place, some rise in spending is certain. The Centre for Economics and Business Research estimates Brits1 will have spent £720 million in pubs during the Euros - £104 million more than would have otherwise been the case.

If you’re not heading to the pub, perhaps a takeaway is on the cards. This morning, Just Eat and Deliveroo share prices have notched up 1% - the former was the biggest FTSE 100 riser the day before the Germany match last Tuesday.

Another sector to benefit is hospitality. Whereas the 2018 World Cup was held in Russia, much of this tournament has been hosted in the UK, with the semi-finals and final all being played at Wembley. Deutsche Bank estimates fans will have spent just under £40 million on accommodation over the tournament, booking into hotels based around Wembley and the UK’s other host venue, Glasgow’s Hampden Park.

Less quantifiable but just as powerful would be the lift to the nation’s mood. Should England progress, households will be busy planning for Sunday’s final: arranging viewing parties; sorting travel arrangements; preparing a BBQ to make the most of the weather. Giving the retail sector a much-needed boost.

Spending during the Euros alone won’t be enough to cement an economic recovery - for more on the UK’s economic prospects and investment opportunities you can watch the latest Investment Outlook webcast, out next week here. The tournament has, however, concentrated spending into some of those sectors worst affected by the pandemic. A successful campaign could lift consumers’ moods and contribute to a broader recovery of spirits. There are plenty of reasons to be cheering England on this evening.


1 CEBR, 7 June 2021

Important information: Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. Reference to specific securities should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell these securities and is included for the purposes of illustration only. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to a Fidelity adviser or an authorised financial adviser of your choice.

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