BBC have claimed bragging rights over rivals Sky Sports and BT Sport by clinching the most-watched match since football returned to our screens this month.
Manchester United’s FA Cup quarter-final victory over Norwich on Saturday night clocked up an impressive peak of 6.4million viewers who tuned in to watch the clash.
And they were certainly treated to an evening of entertainment as Harry Maguire’s last-minute strike in extra-time set up a mouthwatering semi-final showdown with fierce rivals Chelsea.
Included in the 6.4m figure was 1.7m BBC online stream requests, with armchair fans able to watch the cup showdown for free via their iPlayer.
The overall figure usurps the Merseyside derby on June 21, which was watched by 5.5m UK viewers and set a new Premier League record.
That clash was broadcast on Sky Sports and Pick TV on free-to-air televsion.
A day after United’s win, BBC televised Manchester City’s FA Cup win over Newcastle which clocked a viewing total of 5.1m.
Holders City will play Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-finals after overcoming Newcastle at St James’ Park.
City, who beat Watford 6-0 in last year’s final, were kept apart from arch-rivals Manchester United, who have been drawn to play Chelsea.
Both semi-finals will be played at Wembley over the weekend of July 18-19, with the final scheduled for Saturday, August 1 at the same venue.
BBC pundit Alan Shearer conducted the draw during half-time in the last-eight clash between Newcastle and City at St James’ Park, which the visitors won 2-0 with a goal in each half from Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.
It was the first Covid-secure FA Cup draw, with just Shearer – watched by Gary Lineker – pairing up the teams, instead of the usual two guests.
Those matches are expected to usurp BBC’s latest viewing total.