It was not just defending champions Germany that struck gold on Sunday. The TV broadcasters for the two finalists of the FIFA Women's World Cup China 2007, ZDF in Germany and Rede Bandeirantes in Brazil, set new records in spite of unfavourable time differences.
Rede Bandeirantes reached the extraordinary rating of around 15 points, three times above the average of an entire Sunday and way beyond the channel's expectations.
Germany's national channel ZDF achieved an audience of 9.05 million viewers representing a market share of 50.5 per cent. The broadcast rights holder, who shared the event broadcast over the three weeks with ARD, was delighted with these results which beat the highest UEFA Champions League audience from the 2005/06 season (8.1 million viewers for the live primetime coverage of the Milan - Bayern Munich tie).
Moreover, the live coverage of the Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix, also held on Sunday, attracted 2.2 million viewers. To put this in context, the highest Formula 1 audience of the year so far in Germany was recorded at 7.95 million for the live showing of the European GP which was held at the same time on a Sunday as the coverage for the FIFA Women's World Cup final.
"These magnificent results, which reflect the outstanding attendances in the stadiums during the entire competition and the ever increasing number of women players around the world, bear witness to the brilliant improvement of women's football on a universal scale. It is an extra source of encouragement to everyone who is following FIFA's example and firmly believes in the future of women's football," commented FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.
In 2003, the final of the fourth FIFA World Cup between Germany - Sweden reached in the German TV a live audience of 11.38 million, however this match was shown during prime evening viewing hours and therefore achieved a lower market share than the broadcast on Sunday 30 September on a Sunday morning (33.8 per cent v 50.5 per cent). This first very promising results just confirms the high expectations with a record number of 200 territories who have covered the 2007 edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup.