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Big Brother takes hit from World Cup semi-final

'Big Brother' slumped to 1.6 million viewers last night as the second World Cup semi-final sucked in more than 40% of the TV audience, according to unofficial overnight figures.

Big Brother: show presenter Davina McCall

Big Brother: show presenter Davina McCall

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Almost 10 million people (9.665m) watched BBC One's coverage of Spain's 1-0 victory over Germany, compared to ITV1's 8.7 million viewers for the Holland vs Uruguay semi the day before.

The 7pm-10pm football coverage was also screened on BBC HD, where it attracted an audience of 777,000 and a 3.4% share.

'Big Brother', which is sponsored by Freederm, took a 6.7% share of viewing at 8pm-9pm. Including its Channel 4+1 outing, it garnered two million viewers, which is above its lowest audience to date.

Two episodes this series have been watched by 1.4 million viewers, including Channel 4+1 ratings, after it opened on 9 June with five million.

To compete with the football, ITV1 screened a two-hour episode of police drama 'Midsomer Murders' and pulled in 3.4 million viewers, a 13.8% share, between 8pm and 10pm.

Channel 4 improved its audience after 'Big Brother' with 'The Sex Education Show' at 9pm-10pm, attracting 2.3 million viewers, a 9.5% share, with a total of 2.8 million including its time-shifted channel.

At the same time on Five, US drama import 'NCIS' managed 1.5 million viewers, and the BBC Two documentary, 'In Loving Memory', was watched by 840,000.

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