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EM final brought top rating: DFB women win the TV duel against the World Cup

EM final brought top rate
DFB women win the TV duel against the World Cup

The soccer World Cup in Qatar is polarizing, with many fans saying in advance that they do not want to follow the tournament or only want to do so to a limited extent. The TV numbers show from the start that many were serious. Regardless of whether the DFB team is playing or the world champion is crowned: there is little interest.

Beaten in the EM final, but number one in the 2022 quota balance: The German soccer players are surprisingly the TV queens of the year. No other sports program on German television had such a large television audience as the DFB selection in the lost final against England. However, the vice European champions benefited from a surprising drop in the Qatar quota of around 40 percent compared to the previous World Cup in Russia.

On July 31, 17.952 million people watched the EM final on the first channel, giving them a market share of 64.5 percent and first place. “We are very happy,” said national coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg about the numbers. “Because it shows that this European Championship was very attractive from a sporting point of view. Not only our games, but also those of the other teams.” Three of the footballers’ games ended up in the top ten of the 2022 TV rankings. “It was a little summer fairy tale,” commented the national coach. “People wanted us!”

Fans made resolutions come true

On the other hand, far fewer people than expected were interested in the World Cup. The games of the German men also attracted fewer fans to the screen than usual: in 2018 there was still an average of more than 25 million TV viewers, for the three DFB games of this World Cup the figure was not even 15 million. The World Cup game with the most TV viewers was Costa Rica vs Germany with 17.495 million (market share 53.1). Apparently, many people are implementing their resolutions of not wanting to follow the controversial Winter World Cup in Qatar or only wanting to do so to a limited extent: According to a Forsa survey commissioned by RTL and ntv, more than half (54 percent) of all respondents had shortly before the start of the World Cup does not intend to follow games in the live broadcast.

The proportion of those who want to watch games at all – whether with or without German participation – is therefore significantly lower than four years ago at the 2018 World Cup. At that time, three quarters (76 percent) of all respondents wanted to watch at least part of the games . Even among those who are generally interested in football, more than one in four (28 percent) do not want to follow World Cup games.

Other data also illustrate the reduced interest. At the 2018 World Cup in Russia there were 20 broadcasts with more than ten million TV viewers. At the tournament in Qatar there were only four. The final four years ago between France and Croatia (4-2) was watched by 21.45 million people on ZDF, compared to 13.86 million for Argentina’s 4-2 penalty shootout win over France on Sunday. ARD and ZDF experienced a drop of around 40 percent in reach. In 2018, the average value per live broadcast was around 10.16 million, now it was just under 6.33 million. Norbert Himmler said as director of ZDF: “It’s a mixed record for everyone involved.”

“The World Cup left many cold”

There are no figures from Telekom, which showed all games from Qatar for a fee, 16 of them exclusively. The data on Internet use by the public broadcasters is also not yet available. “The digital numbers were very good and are getting better and better, but they don’t make up for it by far,” said ARD sports coordinator Axel Balkausky. Why was there such a slump at the World Cup? “Many people didn’t want to watch the World Cup for personal reasons and didn’t do it either,” said Voss-Tecklenburg, who herself worked as an expert on the second. “The elimination of the German national team after the group stage will probably also have been a reason.”

ARD man Balkausky commented similarly: “The World Cup left many cold. The performance of the German team, even before the World Cup, didn’t spark a spark.” Despite the clear minus at the World Cup, football is unbeatable as a sport. “Football remains the spectators’ favorite child, regardless of the criticism of the World Cup,” said Balkausky. A look at the quota balance shows: Ski jumping is only in 41st place. 5.44 million people watched the New Year’s ski jump of the Four Hills Tournament. The first live broadcasts from the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing (luge/5.148 million) and from the European Championships (5.125 million/track and field) follow in ranks 46 and 47 in the list.

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