FIFA Women’s World Cup Receive Record Viewing

July 12, 2011

The people of Germany have taken to the FIFA Women’s World Cup as television ratings hit the highest ever for the women’s game.

Germany Women’s 1-0 quarter final defeat to Japan Women in the FIFA Women’s World Cup drew a record audience in the home country for a women’s football match of 16.95 million people, a 59.3% share, on public-service channel ZDF. Germany’s four games in the tournament drew the top four audiences ever in the country for women’s football matches.

The France-England quarter-final also drew a far higher audience in Germany than in either of the two competing countries. ZDF had an audience of 6.88 million, a 37.1% share. The match gave the Balloré-owned French free-to-air channel Direct 8 its highest ever audience for a women’s football match, with an average of 1.04 million viewers, a 7.95% share, with the audience peaking at 2.54 million during the penalty shoot-out, which France won 4-3.

In the UK, the match was watched on BBC2 by an average of 1.8 million viewers, a 2.9%, with audiences peaking at 2.8 million. The BBC moved the match from its digital red-button service to BBC2 after protests from members of parliament that the public-service broadcaster was not giving adequate exposure to women’s football.

The total audiences will be higher once ratings on pan-European broadcaster Eurosport are available.