England's World Cup heartbreak attracts 11.7m viewers

Carli Lloyd (Getty Images)
Carli Lloyd (Getty Images)

London - England's dramatic women's World Cup semi-final defeat to the United States was the most watched television event of the year so far in the United Kingdom, attracting a peak audience of 11.7 million.

The Lionesses bowed out at the last four for the third consecutive major tournament after missing a late penalty and seeing a goal marginally ruled out for offside in a 2-1 loss to the world champions.

Viewing figures released by BBC showed that the match in Lyon grabbed a peak share of the TV audience of over 50%.

It was the fourth time this tournament that the record UK TV audience for a women's match had been broken.

"It's moved from being an interesting Olympic-type sport to an absolute mainstream sport," former Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn told the BBC.

"The importance of that is that adds attraction, it pulls girls and women into playing.

"At the top end, what will make the product of the Women's Super League more attractive is getting more exposure in the millions - so being on terrestrial TV is important - making sure the games are played in the elite stadiums that the men play in, and continuing to improve the quality of the football."

The England men's team's defeat to Croatia in the World Cup semi-final last year attracted a peak audience of 26.5 million.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
Manchester United 0
Chelsea 0
loading... Live
Cape Town City 0
Chippa United 0
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 8836 votes
Cricket
11% - 2263 votes
Football
19% - 4040 votes
Athletics
2% - 523 votes
Boxing
1% - 187 votes
Cycling
2% - 488 votes
Golf
5% - 1032 votes
Motorsport
9% - 1784 votes
Tennis
3% - 719 votes
Water sports
1% - 195 votes
American sports
1% - 260 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 657 votes
Vote