Murray was the first British tennis player to reach a Wimbledon final for 74 years, but he was unable to overcome Swiss star Roger Federer on Centre Court.
[Photo Gallery - Celebs at the Wimbledon final]
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Following his 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 defeat, Murray ended up in tears during a post-match interview with presenter Sue Barker. The final points and interview were viewed by 16.43m (66.8% share) at 6pm.
Between 1pm and 6.45pm, the BBC's entire coverage of the men's final collected an audience of 11.4 million, a 58.1% share.
The figures were the BBC's highest ratings since last month's England v Italy Euro 2012 tie, which was seen by 23.2 million.
Over on BBC Two, the British Grand Prix, which was won by Red Bull's Mark Webber, peaked with an audience of 4.18m (28% share) at 1.30pm.