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Explained: England's 'ITV curse' at major tournaments, what it is & why UK broadcaster has been blamed for poor World Cup results

11:39 SAST 2022/12/04
Declan Rice ITV Sport
England take on Senegal in the round of 16 on Sunday and when ITV was announced as the broadcaster, Three Lions fans began to sweat!

After a frustrating 0-0 with the USMNT in their second game, England managed to outclass Wales in their final match to qualify for the round of 16 as the group winners.

The performance against USMNT was worlds apart from the 6-2 thrashing of Iran and the comfortable 3-0 win over Wales.

After the contrasting performances in the group stage, there has once again been talk of the ominous 'ITV Curse'. While the BBC showed the Three Lions' two group wins, the supposedly 'cursed' broadcaster hosted the US snooze-fest.

Are the England faithful right to be worried? GOAL takes a look...

What is England's 'ITV curse'?

The rights of England matches during major tournaments are normally split between the two home broadcasters, BBC and ITV, with them tending to alternate between fixtures.

However, England's results whenever their matches have been televised on ITV have generally been significantly worse, and fans and pundits alike have dubbed this the 'ITV curse'.

For example, England's 0-0 draw with Scotland at Euro 2020, their loss to Croatia in the 2018 World Cup semi-final and their shocking defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016 have all been broadcast on ITV.

What is England's World Cup record when ITV show their matches?

England have played 31 World Cup matches since France '98, with 15 of them being broadcast on ITV. The other 16 were on the BBC.

With the draw against the USMNT at Qatar 2022 also taken into account, England's win percentage in those matches stands at an awful 13% (W2, D6, L7).

It is not the first goalless England draw at a World Cup that has been shown on the broadcaster either, as the infamous 0-0 against Algeria in 2010 was also on ITV.

Since Euro 2000, ITV have shown a total of 13 matches from the various European Championships. The win percentage rises up to 38.4% (P13, W5, D4, L4).

What is England's World Cup record when BBC show their matches?

With the other 16 of those World Cup matches, it is a completely different story over on the BBC.

The win percentage jumps to a staggering 75%, with 12 victories, one draw and three defeats from those 16 games.

As for all European Championship games shown on the BBC since 2000, the win percentage for England is also high at 63.6% (P11, W7, L4).

Which broadcaster is showing England vs Senegal?

This match on Sunday evening at the Al Bayt Stadium is once again scheduled to be shown live on ITV1 and STV with streaming via ITVX or STV Player.