Almost three million viewers watched the opening match of the European Football Championship on July 6th. The quota race won a repeat of the ZDF thriller “Die Toten von Salzburg”. At least since the entry of the German soccer players into the tournament, the audience has been on course for the EM: The 4-0 in the first group game against Denmark already interested 5.95 million, with the final round the value scratched the ten million mark, to the semifinals against France to achieve the highest reach of a women’s European Championship game on German television to date: 12.187 million, which means that half of all viewers watched football on Wednesday. And on Sunday, ARD will broadcast the final between Germany and England from 5:30 p.m. There will be a new record quota, for sure.
The crucial question for women’s football is: is this interest only temporary or is it permanent? National coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said before the European Championships: It’s nice that the media are willing to look at us, at least temporarily.” She hopes that will remain a bit more sustainable.
According to its football boss Mario Nauen, the pay-TV broadcaster Sky wants to try to get the TV rights to the women’s Bundesliga. “I have already indicated that we are interested and that we want to position ourselves more broadly, especially as far as women’s football and women’s sports are concerned,” he said on Tuesday. At the same time, Nauen emphasized that Sky would “not do any economically wild things”. From this season onwards, Sky will be showing the women’s DFB Cup in full (in 2021/22 Sky only broadcast one game live per round) and games from the English Women’s Super League.
The German Football Association (DFB) announced on Monday that it would transfer the media rights to the women’s Bundesliga and the men’s 3rd division via its subsidiary DFB GmbH
Are game reports in the ARD “Sportschau” or in the “Aktuelle Sport-Studio” of the ZDF conceivable about the women’s Bundesliga? It is conceivable, but whether the institutions will open the programs for this is by no means certain. It is clear to everyone involved that the outstanding ratings of the European Championship are due to the event character of the tournament, the success of the German team and a regular program that focuses more on repetition than on the spectacular premiere in the summer weeks.
And then there is the question of whether the male audience will still show the same interest as in the weeks of the European Championship tournament when the men’s Bundesliga starts again? So less Dortmund, Bavaria, Leipzig in the TV picture and more Wolfsburg, Potsdam, Munich? The broadcasters follow the interest in the demand medium television, if there is no interest, the broadcasters stay away from the places.
In the current phase of euphoria, it must not be overlooked that women’s football continues to be met with skepticism, especially from male fans. For example, the Twitter accompaniment of the ZDF commentator Claudia Neumann. “When will ZDF learn that a football game should be commented on by two people. Claudia Neumann alone is a severe punishment. The comparison with the “Obi kit” was just the accolade for a bad commentator,” tweeted one. Another: “Sorry, but Claudia Neumann is also a disaster when it comes to women’s football in terms of football competence and her expression and her German are somewhere between unworthy and embarrassing.” Those are the harmless quotes. And ZDF’s reaction was also somewhat half-hearted: “We are convinced of Claudia Neumann’s competence. Claudia Neumann has been at home in live football for years and, in addition to her professional competence, brings a considerable amount of experience with her.”
Of course, these statements say little or nothing about the success of women’s football on television. But the European Championship is a holiday, the Bundesliga is everyday life.