Can England break the curse of ITV this World Cup?

England - curse of the world cup

England have won both of their 2018 World Cup so far. You can argue this is because Tunisia and Panama are easy opponents, but some might argue it is because both matches were on the BBC.

There is a claim by some of what is dubbed “The Curse of ITV”. Namely, whenever England play in a major tournament, they are much more likely to lose if their matches are shown on ITV rather than the BBC. As of the last World Cup, England’s win rate on the BBC since 1982 was 64%. On ITV in the same period, it was just 21%.

It is not just World Cup matches too. During the last major tournament, Euro 2016, the only match England won was the match the BBC televised against Wales. In the same tournament, in the matches ITV broadcast England drew twice and then infamously lost to Iceland.

Looking at the rankings, England are the underdogs going into the match as Belgium are ranked third in the world, with only Germany and Brazil above them. In the table, England are ahead because they have received one less booking. While England can afford to lose the match having already secured a place in the next round, after that there are no second chances. England will need to break this curse if they can have any chance of success.