EBU members showed a cumulative total of more than 1,200 hours of live coverage of the UEFA Women’s EURO England 2022, reaching a cumulative audience of over 280 million people.
According to the EBU, both semi-finals and the final produced outstanding TV audiences for national FTA broadcasters, not only of the teams concerned but also in other European markets.
For its live coverage of the final, in which England beat Germany 2-1, the BBC reported a peak audience of 17.4 million, making it the most-watched women’s football match ever on UK television and the most-watched TV programme in any genre so far in 2022. This figure was supplemented by 5.9 million streams of the game on the BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app.
Meanwhile, ARD in Germany reached a peak audience of 21.8 million for the final, making it the most watched women’s football match in Germany of all time. ARD’s viewing share averaged 64.8%.
The EBU adds that elsewhere in Europe, audiences were equally strong:
• NOS (Netherlands) had close to 1.9 million viewers on average (49.2% share), culminating with a tournament high of 2.3 million viewers for the national team’s quarter-final versus France;
• NRK (Norway) recorded a 67.0 % average viewing share (455,000 viewers);
• SVT (Sweden) averaged close to 1.2 million viewers per match, a 61.0% viewing share;
• YLE (Finland) scored a 45.6% average viewing share (631,000 viewers);
• ORF (Austria) recorded a peak audience of 935,000 viewers, with an average viewing share of 30.2%;
• RUV (Iceland) averaged 51,900 viewers for the final, a remarkable 98.2% viewing share.
The average viewing share for the final of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 across all transmitting EBU members was over 24%.
The EBU is the collective rightsholder for the UEFA Women’s EURO England 2022 across Europe, while EBU members the BBC (UK) and ARD/ZDF (Germany) agreed separate TV rights agreements with UEFA.
In France, whose national team were beaten by Germany in the semi-finals, the Women’s EURO was being shown by commercial broadcasters TF1 and Canal Plus.
All EBU members that broadcast England’s semi-final with Sweden recorded a viewing share of over 13% on average, while for the Germany-France semi-final the figures were even better, with the average viewing share of EBU Members broadcasting the match topping 17%.
Of these, EBU members YLE (Finland), TV2 (Norway), RUV (Iceland) and SVT, which shared the rights with TV4 in Sweden, all reported audience shares of 30% or higher.
Viewing figures were particularly strong in markets where a national team had qualified for the UEFA Women’s EURO.
By the end of the quarter-finals, rights-owner UEFA was already reporting record viewing figures for the competition up to that point.
Other notable TV viewing figures of the competition included an audience of 2.4 million viewers for coverage by Spain’s EBU member TVE of the quarter-final between Spain and England (up from 500,000 viewers for the 2017 quarter-final between Spain and Austria on Teledeporte).
In Sweden, an audience of 2.0 million viewers watched SVT’s coverage of the quarter-final between Sweden and Belgium (up from 900,000 viewers for the 2017 quarter-final between Sweden and the Netherlands).
SVT’s figures continued its record, set during the group stages, of achieving a viewing share of above 67 % for each of the matches of the national team.
Commenting on these figures, Stefan-Eric Wildemann, head of football at Eurovision Sport, said: “These viewing figures are truly impressive, and are backed up by some great numbers for UEFA Women’s EURO coverage on digital channels. They reflect the huge surge in the popularity of women’s football and of women’s sport in general, made possible by the unrivalled reach and quality of our members’ FTA coverage”.
The EBU notes that over 30 of its members offered extensive coverage of the UEFA Women’s EURO across Europe, while EBU members also exchanged video news content of the competition via the EBU’s Eurovision Sports News Exchange.