England’s Euro 2022 win over Sweden draws peak TV audience of 9.3 million

Women’s 4-0 triumph one of the most-watched broadcasts of the year, BBC One figures show

England’s Euro 2022 semi-final triumph over Sweden attracted a peak audience of 9.3 million viewers on BBC One, making it among the most-watched television broadcasts of the year.

The figures do not include the many viewers who will have watched using the BBC’s online streams, or in public spaces such as pubs or fanzones. The audience were rewarded with a comprehensive 4-0 victory at Bramall Lane, featuring Alessia Russo back-heeling the ball into Sweden’s goal.

International women’s football is now a consistent ratings winner, leaving other sports envious of the enormous interest it is attracting. By comparison, the BBC’s live coverage of the world athletics championships peaked at 1.3 million on Saturday, while this month’s Twenty20 international cricket match between India and England attracted a peak audience of 980,000, despite being free to watch on BBC Two.

Euro 2022 has attracted millions of British viewers – even for matches that have not involved England or Northern Ireland – suggesting there is an enormous appetite for free-to-air live sport in the UK.

Growing interest in the sport can be tracked in the viewing figures. When England’s women’s team reached the final of the 2009 Women’s Euros they attracted 1.4 million viewers on BBC One. The BBC will be expecting 10 times that audience when the Lionesses play in this year’s final at Wembley at 5pm on Sunday.

The record British television audience for a woman’s football match was set during the 2019 World Cup, when viewing figures peaked at 11.7 million people as England lost to the USA at the semi-final stage.

The challenge for women’s football is how to retain media interest after the tournament is over. Sky and the BBC are hoping to convince more viewers to watch coverage of the domestic English Women’s Super League.

BBC Two attracted half a million viewers when it showed the Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur women’s derby in May.


Jim Waterson Media editor

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
England’s Euros triumph draws record TV audience of 17m
Audience peaked at 17.4 million viewers, making it the biggest UK television event of the year to date

Mark Sweney

01, Aug, 2022 @11:05 AM

Article image
How can England build on their Euro 2022 triumph?
Our writers offer five big ideas to grow women’s football after the Lionesses ended 56 years of hurt

Suzanne Wrack, Faye Carruthers, Louise Taylor, Sophie Downey and Jen Offord

01, Aug, 2022 @7:09 AM

Article image
Three Lions anthem could be ‘put to bed’ after Euro 2022 win, says David Baddiel
Women have reset clock after more than five decades of pain, says comedian who co-wrote 1996 song

Geneva Abdul

01, Aug, 2022 @9:46 AM

Article image
Record TV audience watch England in Women's World Cup
Quarter-final victory over Norway attracts peak figure of 7.6 million on BBC One

Sarah Marsh and Frances Perraudin

28, Jun, 2019 @11:56 AM

Article image
Women's World Cup match attracts bigger TV audience than cricket
England’s victory over Scotland attracted average audience of 4.6 million, compared with 550,000 for men’s cricket

Jim Waterson Media editor

10, Jun, 2019 @3:47 PM

Article image
Secret support: did prescription bras help Lionesses to Euro 2022 glory?
Well-fitting sports bras could improve performance and help athletes train for longer, research shows

Linda Geddes

03, Aug, 2022 @5:00 AM

Article image
Dancing, beers and Abba: how England celebrated Euro 2022 glory
Sarina Wiegman’s champions toasted their success at a party in the team hotel after the 2-1 victory against Germany

Suzanne Wrack

01, Aug, 2022 @8:00 PM

Article image
England’s win against Germany is only the beginning for the women’s game | Jonathan Liew
Football was an intrinsic part of the nation’s identity for years while women were excluded. After winning Euro 2022, they have reached the top of the podium

Jonathan Liew at Wembley

31, Jul, 2022 @8:34 PM

Article image
Chloe Kelly: England’s match winner who almost didn’t play
The 24-year-old supersub, who grew up a bus ride away from Wembley stadium, was out injured for much of the season

Peter Lansley at Wembley

31, Jul, 2022 @10:16 PM

Article image
England's Lionesses smash TV audience record in Euro 2017 semi-final
Peak audience of 4 million tuned in to Channel 4 to watch football match, beating Celebrity Big Brother and Panorama

Mark Sweney

04, Aug, 2017 @11:53 AM