The TV audience is doing something they don’t usually do: the viewers tune in when the soccer players step onto the pitch. The previous record quota for the women’s European Championship was 8.02 million on Tuesday when the Germans beat Spain 2-0. A value that has “crime scene” dimensions.
Well, it’s about the European Championship and the broadcasting stations ARD and ZDF are doing everything they can to pimp the competition during prime time. The rest of the TV program isn’t exactly overwhelming either, it’s repeated at every nook and cranny. The game of the German team against Finland with 5.76 million viewers must inevitably be the ratings winner on Saturday.
There is a triumph in the numbers – the triumph of linear television. Regardless of the film or “Tagesschau”, a series on Netflix, drama on Amazon, the cameras have hardly caught an exclusive live event before the audience knows what to set on their remote control.
Or is it women’s football that fascinates? Well, for the rest of the television year, this sport is kept as attractive as a documentary about Danish painting of the Madonna. There is something hypocritical about how the moderators and managers of the public broadcasters swear by the greatness of women’s football. I daresay they’re afraid to say even one wrong word.
The fascination for the summer European Championship tournament is reminiscent of winter sports TV: tobogganing is only broadcast because the biathlon takes place afterwards and ski jumping before that. It’s not that television is just window dressing and that the public is willing to accept it. But the truth is this: women’s football without the European Championship is like a New Year’s rocket. Hardly ignited, already extinguished.
At the same time, there are amazing differences between women and men playing football and both being broadcast on television. Whether a player or an expert, the women are doing far less with empty phrases and the monotony of what was it? question-and-answer games. They seem more focused – smarter.
Emotions run high. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if the German team didn’t high five every corner kick they won in the upcoming quarterfinals against the Austrians.