England Lionesses Women’s Euro Victory Leads to Record 17.6 Million Viewership for BBC

The England Lionesses’ historic win in the Women’s Euro 2022 soccer championship has proved to be a viewership bonanza for the BBC.

England beat eight-time champions Germany at London’s Wembley stadium in the final on Sunday evening, with Ella Toone and Chloe Kelly scoring for the victors. The game was played in front of a record crowd of 87,192.

The final was broadcast on BBC One. The game drew an average of 11 million viewers and a 66% audience share, peaking at 17.5 million, according to overnights.tv.

The 17.6 million peak smashed the previous record, achieved just days previously when England beat Sweden 4-0 in the semi-final. That game drew a peak of 9.3 million on the BBC, with an average of 7.9 million viewers tuning in. The other semi-final, where Germany beat France 2-1, averaged 3.5 million viewers on the BBC, with a peak of 5.1 million.

England’s 2-1 quarter-final victory over Spain drew an average of 7.6 million viewers.

BBC director general, Tim Davie, said: “We are incredibly proud to have championed women’s football [soccer] and are thrilled we were able to bring such a special sporting moment to the public. This was the most-watched women’s football game on U.K. television of all-time and the most-watched program in 2022 so far — and deservedly so. Everyone at the BBC is delighted at the win and being able to share that with the public.”

England’s last major trophy win came 56 years ago when the men’s soccer team beat West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final.

The Queen led the accolades for the Lionesses’ win. “My warmest congratulations, and those of my family, go to you all on winning the European Women’s Championships,” the Queen said in a statement. “It is a significant achievement for the entire team, including your support staff. The Championships and your performance in them have rightly won praise. However, your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned. You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations. It is my hope that you will be as proud of the impact you have had on your sport as you are of the result today.”

Prince William added: “Sensational. An incredible win. The whole nation couldn’t be prouder of you all. Wonderful to see history in the making tonight at Wembley, congratulations!”

The other major sporting event that is attracting viewers to the BBC is the ongoing Commonwealth Games at Birmingham. The opening ceremony on July 28 averaged 4.5 million viewers and peaked at 5.3 million.