Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

If I were Icelandic, I’d do just about everything in my power to get myself in front of a TV whenever my sweet boys in blue suited up during this miraculous Euro 2016 run of theirs. Apparently, actual Icelanders feel the same way, as almost literally every TV in the country was tuned in for Iceland’s win over England on Monday.

According to AS, Iceland’s television provider created a new channel specifically devoted to Iceland’s matches in this first ever major international tournament of theirs. And the ratings have been pretty strong:

99.8% of the country’s TV audience tuned in to see goals from Ragnar Sigurdsson and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson cancel out Wayne Rooney’s penalty as the Icelanders, competing at their first ever major tournament finals, booked a quarter-final spot to continue their heroic campaign.


(The math here I’m assuming comes from the TV provider knowing how many sets were tuned to something other than the sports channel, which apparently was only 0.2 percent of them.)

Iceland’s final group stage match pulled in a 98.5 percent share of the country’s TVs. Those figures, plus the stat going around that something like 30,000 Icelanders—or nearly 10 percent of the island’s entire population—made the trip to France for the tournament, make Iceland almost certainly the pound-for-pound best supported national team in Europe. No one wants this thing to end.


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