Audiences stayed glued to their TV sets in the second week of the World Cup tournament. Following an opening match viewing figure of 12 million, UK audiences for the big matches scaled heights normally reserved for soap operas.

Audiences stayed glued to their TV sets in the second week of the

World Cup tournament. Following an opening match viewing figure of 12

million, UK audiences for the big matches scaled heights normally

reserved for soap operas.

This week’s highest figure was, naturally enough, for the England v

Romania game, which claimed massive figures of more than 19.4 million,

peaking at 21.6 for the fateful and decisive last quarter of an hour of

the match.

It delivered the highest rating for a football match shown on a single

channel during the past two decades.

Poor weather has increased television viewing figures, and even a hot

and sunny weekend did not deter audiences, although figures crept below

five million for Saturday afternoon’s Japan v Croatia and Sunday’s

Germany v Yugoslavia matches.

According to analysis by Zenith Media, women are making up an average of

37 per cent of the audience. That percentage climbs to 45 per cent for

the bigger matches. On the whole they are proving less dedicated viewers

than their male counterparts - not as well represented in afternoon

matches and not so keen on games involving far-flung countries. Women

made up just 30 per cent of the audience for the Japan v Croatia game,

which took place on 20 June.

The Dutch and the UK are topping the charts for European propensity to

view. And so far the Irish are showing the least interest, with just 7

per cent compared with the UK’s 14 per cent.

Media Forum, p18


Date     Time     Teams                       Match audience 000s

                                             All      All      All

                                           indiv      men    women

16.6     21.00    Brazil v Morocco         9,816    5,761    3,165

17.6     21.00    Italy v Cameroon         9,548    5,277    3,211

18.6     17.30    S.Africa v Denmark       5,561    3,122    1,719

18.6     21.00    France v Saudi Arabia    9,244    5,293    3,041

19.6     17.30    Nigeria v Bulgaria       4,316    2,646    1,295

20.6     14.30    Japan v Croatia          3,146    1,962      823

20.6     21.00    Holland v S.Korea        6,395    3,591    2,175

21.6     14.30    Germany v Yugoslavia     4,718    2,838    1,425

21.6     21.00    USA v Iran               7,981    4,491    2,796

22.6     17.30    Colombia v Tunisia       5,405    3,246    1,632

22.6     21.00    Romania v England       19,410    9,715    7,299

23.6     21.00    Scotland v Morocco      14,511    7,576    5,599

Date     Time     Teams                         Match GRPs       Station

                                            All     All      All

                                          indiv     men    women

16.6     21.00    Brazil v Morocco         18.0    26.1     13.5     ITV

17.6     21.00    Italy v Cameroon         17.5    23.9     13.7     ITV

18.6     17.30    S.Africa v Denmark       10.2    14.2      7.3     ITV

18.6     21.00    France v Saudi Arabia    16.9    24.0     13.0    BBC1

19.6     17.30    Nigeria v Bulgaria        7.9    12.0      5.5     ITV

20.6     14.30    Japan v Croatia           5.8     8.9      3.5     ITV

20.6     21.00    Holland v S.Korea        11.7    16.3      9.3     ITV

21.6     14.30    Germany v Yugoslavia      8.6    12.9      6.1     BBC

21.6     21.00    USA v Iran               14.6    20.4     11.9    BBC1

22.6     17.30    Colombia v Tunisia        9.9    14.7      7.0    BBC1

22.6     21.00    Romania v England        35.5    44.1     31.2     ITV

23.6     21.00    Scotland v Morocco       26.6    34.4     23.9    BBC1

Source: Zenith Media.

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