Record women's soccer audience for BBC as Lionesses reach World Cup semi-finals
Public-service broadcaster the BBC attracted the highest-ever UK audience for a women's soccer match as England beat Norway in the quarter-finals of the Fifa Women's World Cup last night.
An average of 6.8 million viewers watched the Lionesses' 3-0 win in Le Havre, France on main channel BBC One, equivalent to a 36.8-per-cent share.
The audience peaked at 7.6 million, a 38.6-per-cent share, as the team reached the semi-finals of a major tournament for the third time running.
The BBC's previous highest average audience at this World Cup was just over 5 million for England's last-16 win over Cameroon, for which the peak was 6.9 million.
England’s group games against Scotland, Argentina and Japan (all broadcast on the BBC, which is showing every match from the tournament), had produced average viewing figures of 4.6 million, 4.4 million, and 4.2 million respectively.
England’s victory against Norway also drew an average of 3.5 million viewers in Germany where the match was televised by ZDF, the country's public-service broadcaster, which earned a 14.6-per-cent share in the process.
Germany have also reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in France, and will play Sweden tomorrow evening in Lorient. The team's last match, a 3-0 win over Nigeria in the round of 16, was watched by an average of 6.49 million viewers, a 39.9-per-cent-share, on ZDF.
ZDF also showed Germany's 4-2 win over Romania in the semi-finals of the European Under-21 Championships in Italy yesterday, attracting an average audience of 5.6 million, a 30.8-per-cent share.
Germany will play Spain in Sunday's final after the latter beat France 4-1 in the other semi-final.