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Women’s World Cup Smashes TV Records in France

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France's fans before a match against Norway. Photo: REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

By Matthew Smith |

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is smashing television viewing records in France as the host nation make an impressive start to the tournament.

France won all three of their group games, beating South Korea 4-0 in their opening fixture before narrow victories over Norway and Nigeria.

TF1, France’s main broadcaster for the tournament, had expected the team’s opening match against South Korea to draw up to five million viewers. 

Instead, they said numbers peaked at 10.9 million, which TF1 described as a French record for a women’s football match.

In addition, almost one million followed the game on Canal+, a pay-TV unit of Vivendi.

The numbers stayed extremely high for France’s 2-1 win against Norway, with domestic viewers spiking at 11 million on TF1, on par with the numbers who watched the men’s group stage matches in 2018.

France beat Nigeria 1-0 to complete their perfect Group A record on Monday night, and the viewing figures are expected to be huge again.

The unexpected level of interest has prompted TF1 to drive up the cost of advertising slots during the games, according to reports in France.

Le Parisien reported the price rose by up to 60 percent after the opening match, with 30-second slots during half-time in France’s group stage matches, initially priced at $80,000 now costing $130,000.

The huge television audiences appear to demonstrate a level of public interest not being borne out in attendances at matches featuring other countries, with many games being played in front of reams of empty seats.

The group stage match between England and Scotland had an attendance of 13,188 in the 35,100-capacity Allianz Riviera in Nice.

TF1 have not made all games free to air, while France’s matches have only been given a 10-minute build-up with no studio of pundits analysing the action.

Broadcasts have gone straight to the commentators’ box with all 15 minutes of half-time filled with adverts.

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.

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