To date, 11.7 million people tuned in to watch England’s The Lionesses play against USA’s Stars and Stripes —ending in a dramatic loss for Britain— breaking records as drawing in the biggest audience of the year so far to date for the BBC network. Even despite the team officially being knocked out of the running for the 2019 Women’s World Cup finals.
With 11.7 million being considered peak audience, news outlets are officially dubbing the phenomena as one of the biggest turn outs for an audience in the U.K. for a women’s soccer match, ultimately disrupting the previous record of 7.6 million, held by the Lionesses just last week in their quarterfinal win against Norway. As of now, FIFA has projected a 1 billion viewer audience count total, after taking into consideration different platforms’ viewing numbers by the final on Sunday.
Much of the match featured “high-tempo play and major drama, including a disallowed goal, a missed penalty and a sending off for England.” 2018 World Cup champions, Team USA, entered the match as a fan favorite from the outset and resolutely defended their title against England. Ending in a close call catch from USA goalies, Alex Morgan and Christen Press, ending in 2-1 for The Stars and Stripes.
Held in France, the 2019 Women’s World Cup has been consistently smashing TV rating’s records across the globe, and has been hailed as finally being the penultimate moment women’s games are being taken more seriously just as much as men’s tournaments. However, the BBC’s record audience draw was less than half the 26.5 million viewers who tuned in to partner channel ITV, to watch the England men’s national soccer team play against Croatia back in the 2018 World Cup last summer.
Yet still to this day the Stars and Stripes team is widely ranked as the most successful international women’s soccer team, and has collectively won three Women’s World Cup titles —including the first Women’s World Cup in 1991. Accumulating, four Olympic gold medals a la Olympic women’s soccer tournament in 1996, eight CONCACAF Gold Cups, and ten Algarve Cups, as well over the years.
A rehash of the tournament can be viewed on YouTube.