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Women’s World Cup 2019 breaks viewing records on the BBC

By David Saunders, Health Editor  | UPDATED: 11:28, 01 April 2020

A record-breaking 28.1m tuned into a game-changing Women’s World Cup on the BBC this summer.

Audiences across the country have been entertained by some of the best players in the world over the past four weeks, creating memories and household names as the women’s game continues to go from strength to strength.

Millions tuned in to see Scotland in their first-ever World Cup, England go toe-to-toe with the USA in the semi-final, Megan Rapinoe claiming the Golden Boot and Brazilian striker Marta becoming all-time leading scorer in the men’s and women’s tournaments.

The tournament overall saw 13.1m match requests (live and on-demand) on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport.

USA clinched a record fourth World Cup against the Netherlands yesterday afternoon – this game attracted a peak BBC One audience of 4.7m and peak share of 38.5%.

Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, says: “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.”

Women’s World Cup 2019 coverage on the BBC:

  • After 52 games, BBC reach (15 mins or more) has been 28.1m – over double Canada ’15 which brought in a reach of 12.4m

  • A total of 13.1m match requests online including 1.7m live requests for England v USA making it the most-streamed women’s game on BBC’s platforms

  • Gender split of total tournament audience: male 62% / female 38%

  • England v USA was the most-watched game of the tournament with a peak audience of 11.7m and peak share of 50.8%

  • Group stage reach total reach – 17.2m

  • The top five most watched matches on TV (peak):

    1. England v USA (11.7m)
    2. England v Norway (7.6m)
    3. England v Cameroon (6.9m)
    4. England v Scotland (6.1m)
    5. England v Argentina (5.4m)

  • The top five most requested matches online across BBC Sport and BBC iPlayer live and on-demand were:
    1. England v USA (1.7m)
    2. England v Norway (883k)
    3. England v Cameroon (640k)
    4. England v Japan (623k)
    5. England v Argentina (523k)

  • The quality and presentation of the BBC’s Women’s World Cup coverage received an impressive appreciation index score of 81

This year, BBC audiences will have access to continued women’s football TV coverage with a match shown each round from the Women’s Super League, the Women’s Football Show, live women’s FA Cup football including the semi-finals and final, Lionesses games and other major international fixtures.

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