Women's football draws record 6.9m TV viewers

Lionesses: beat Cameroon at weekend
Lionesses: beat Cameroon at weekend

Audience for England team's victory over Cameroon demonstrates sport's rising popularity.

BBC One attracted a peak audience of 6.9 million viewers for its coverage of the England women’s football team’s first knockout-stage match in the 2019 World Cup.

It set a viewing record for women’s football, according to the BBC, surpassing the 6.1 million figure garnered when England played Scotland in their first group-stage match two weeks ago.

The Lionesses’ next game, a quarter-final against Norway, will be screened at the peak time of 8pm this Thursday on BBC Four.

This gives it the potential to treble the 2.4 million viewers who tuned in late at night to see England knocked out in the semi-final of the prevous World Cup in Canada in 2015.

The jump in the popularity of the tournament will please the likes of sponsors Visa, Budweiser, Nike, Lucozade and Mars.

At the same stage in last year’s men’s World Cup, a peak audience of 24.4 million people watched England beat Colombia, not including out-of-home viewing.

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