Women’s World Cup breaks viewing records for BBC

09 Jul 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France broke viewing records on the BBC, with 28.1 million people having tuned in to the tournament.

England’s semi-final against the USA attracted the highest live TV audience of 2019 with 11.7 million viewers. Match requests on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport during the tournament totalled 13.1 million, with 1.7 million requests for England-USA alone.

USA won its fourth Women’s World Cup with a 2-0 victory against the Netherlands in Lyon. The match attracted a peak BBC One audience of 4.7 million and peak share of 38.5%.

The BBC’s audience reach of 28.1 million is more than double that of the 2015 tournament in Canada, which brought in a reach of 12.4 million. The gender split of total tournament audience was 62% male against 38% female.

The top five most watched matches on television were all England fixtures. The second most watched match was England’s quarter-final win over Norway (7.6 million), followed by matches against Cameroon (6.9 million), Scotland (6.1 million) and Argentina (5.4 million).

Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, said: “This World Cup was the most memorable to date and it has engaged sport fans across the UK. The BBC is committed to growing the women's game and our free-to-air coverage has ensured the tournament reached the widest possible audience. This was the first major event to kick off our Change The Game season and it's record-breaking viewing figures didn’t disappoint.”

The BBC launched its Change The Game women’s summer of sport campaign, which seeks to celebrate female athletes, in May. The campaign is delivering more free-to-air women’s sport than ever before across the BBC’s radio and digital platforms this summer.