BBC anchor Gary Lineker took to social media to reveal that the match had smashed streaming records.
England’s World Cup 2022 lunchtime opener against Iran was watched by 8.1 million and was streamed an incredible 8 million times on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online, making it the largest live streamed event on the BBC over a 24 hour period ever. Watching at work eh?
— Gary Lineker 💙💛 (@GaryLineker) November 22, 2022
He wrote: “England’s World Cup 2022 lunchtime opener against Iran was watched by 8.1 million and was streamed an incredible 8 million times on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online, making it the largest live-streamed event on the BBC over a 24 hour period ever. Watching at work eh?"
However, England’s World Cup opener did not go without a hitch.
Lineker, who is leading the BBC’s coverage of the tournament, was forced to apologise at half-time as viewers watching on iPlayer experienced technical difficulties.
The BBC later said it was made aware of "an issue affecting some users" which it was trying to fix.
On the pitch, England recorded their best ever opening win at a World Cup finals.
Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling made it 3-0 by halftime. Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jack Grealish all netted after the break.
Gareth Southgate was pleased with the victory but branded himself a “a miserable so and so” after Iran’s Mehdi Taremi netted twice, including a stoppagetime VAR penalty.
The England boss fired a warning that his men must improve to make it to the latter stages.
Southgate said: “I am a miserable so and so.
“I should be more excited but I need to keep the team on the right track and we need to be better.
“I am a bit fed up with the end of it.
“To win by that margin and play as we did for the majority of the game, you have got to be really happy.
“We looked ready, we used the ball really well and our attacking threat was there for everyone to see. It’s a great marker to put down.
“But I didn’t like the end of the game. To concede two goals isn’t the level that we need. We looked sloppy...We are going to have to be better against the USA because they are going to be coming for us full throttle.”
England face the US next at 7pm on Friday live on ITV 1.