Is there an ITV England curse? What is Three Lions World Cup and Euros record on TV channel compared to BBC

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England will be aiming for a victory against Senegal on ITV

After the first game many fans were starting to believe that England could finally bring the World Cup home for Christmas. However, Gareth Southgate’s side struggled to find that same fluidity against USA in the second game and limped to a drab 0-0 draw in front of the ITV cameras.

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The Three Lions ended their group campaign in style and returned to winning ways with a 3-0 win against Wales in front of the BBC cameras.

Superstitions are rife in the world of sport with fans and players alike resorting to any means necessary to secure a favourable result for their team. After the game many football fans shared their views on social media and many pointed at England’s alarmingly poor record when playing on ITV at major tournaments in comparison to their record when playing in front of the cameras of the BBC.

The phenomenon has been a long running superstition for many England supporters who have dubbed the poor pattern of results as the ITV curse. The so-called curse is a label which has been thrown around for several years by supporters but is there any validity in their claims and how does England’s record on ITV compare to their on BBC?

Here is everything you need to know.

Is the ITV curse real?

The Three Lions have a dismal record on ITV which stretches back 24 years. England have played on ITV 28 times in major tournaments since France 1998, in that time they have managed 6 victories, 13 draws and nine defeats.

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Meanwhile the BBC boast a much more favourable record for the Three Lions in major tournaments in that same time period. In total England have played 27 major tournament games on BBC - winning an impressive 19 games, drawing five and losing just three.


A number of England fans have noticed the recurring theme of misfortune for the Three Lions when playing in front of the ITV cameras and some fans have even joked that ITV should be banned from showing England games during major tournaments.

A number of fans shared their thoughts on Twitter after the 0-0 draw against USA.

One user tweeted: “People surprised and disappointed by England’s dull 0-0 draw tonight are clearly unaware of the curse of ITV going back to the 90s. Still on course. Win next week on the BBC before the glorious loss to Ecuador on pens on the knockouts on ITV.”

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Another user tweeted: “Did I read somewhere about an ITV curse for England when they play? Always seems to do better on BBC?”

However, not all England fans are supporting the claims of a curse. England defeated Denmark in extra time during the semi-final of Euro 2020 in front of the ITV cameras and some are suggesting that at that moment the curse was broken.

One user tweeted: “The so-called curse of ITV was broken in the last Euros when England won their semi-final. England will never lose on ITV again.”

How to watch England vs Senegal

England will be paired with African champions Senegal in the round of 16.

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Many England fans will be hoping that the Three Lions can shake off the curse of recent tournaments and the game will take place in front of the ITV cameras on Sunday 3 December.

Coverage of the game will begin at 6pm and the match itself will kick off at 7pm. You can also live stream the action from the ITV X app, which is available to download on your mobile or tablet device.

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