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Rugby, F1 draw strong audiences

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England's sporting attempts in rugby and Formula One dominated the weekend's television schedules, according to audience figures.

The Rugby World Cup final on Saturday night, which England lost to South Africa, attracted an average 15.1 million viewers (a 58 per cent share) and peaked with 15.8 million.

ITV1's full coverage show, from 7.45pm to 10.15pm, drew 12.8 million (51.4 per cent) to become the most watched show so far this year. It beat Coronation Street on January 15 and the New Year's Day Vicar of Dibley, which both reached 12.3million.

BBC One and others struggled to compete - although Strictly Come Dancing at 5.45pm pulled a 7.2 million average (35.2 per cent).

ITV1 again led the way on Sunday night with coverage of the final race in the Formula One Grand Prix season. It saw Briton Lewis Hamilton miss out on the title.

The race, lasting 90 minutes from 5pm, drew a 9 million (47.2 per cent) average with a high of 10.4 million in the final 15 minutes.

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