I really think we need to be a little more surprised about this than we are. It’s a link to the UK National Grid’s top ten power spikes associated with TV viewing. The spikes tell of the action of people who, in TV ad breaks, collectively bugger off and make a cup of tea, causing trouble to electricity suppliers across the nation.
Since 1990, the list has been riddled with sporting events. The highest ‘TV pick up’ to date came after the 1990 World Cup Semi Final between Germany and England, rated at a healthy 2800 MW. Other high pick up matches include England vs Brazil, Juventus v Manchester United and, improbably, a 2002 Nigeria v England match.
The 1980s pickups are utterly different, dominated (with five years between the #1 and #2 slots) by The Thornbirds, The Thornbirds, The Thornbirds, and then Dallas. The only vaguely sporting event on the 1980s list was the 1981 Royal Wedding, (which I think the Windsors won on goal difference), causing a power spike which came #7 in the decade, hot on the heels of vastly more enjoyable Coronation Street / Blue Thunder double billing.