A peak television audience of one million viewers tuned in to BBC1 to watch Nick Matthew and Nicol David claim Gold in the finals of the Commonwealth Games squash competition on Monday July 28.
Figures released by the British broadcaster show that 0.8 million viewers tuned in to see David, the Malaysian World No.1, beat England’s Laura Massaro in a intriguing 3-0 win while the audience rose to 1 million as Matthew took on perennial rival James Willstrop in the final of the men’s singles event.
The Yorkshire-duo dazzled the crowds and viewers alike as they battled for 100-minutes in a thrilling 11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-5 encounter which saw Matthew claim his second successive singles Gold medal.
It was a performance which saw the likes of Olympic medallists Matthew Pinsent, Daley Thompson, Joanna Roswell and other sporting icons such as Gary Lineker and Michael Vaughan take to Twitter to voice their appreciation and respect for squash.
“The finals of both the men’s and women’s singles at the Commonwealth Games displayed the passion, dedication and competitiveness which demonstrates precisely the kind of attributes that make squash a perfect fit for such a global sporting platform,” said Professional Squash Association Chief Executive Alex Gough.
“The BBC’s coverage of the action during the Commonwealth Games so far has showcased the sport in a fantastic light, following their broadcast of the 2013 World Championship on the Red Button last November, and to see such strong figures for the event is a boost to everyone involved in the sport.
“It’s testament to the temperament and talents of all four finalists, and all the competitors in the Commonwealth Games, that the sport is currently riding high on a wave of high-profile public support.”