The Women’s World Cup 2019 in France is an unexpected success. The audience on television for the first match of les Bleues is an encouraging signal.
A record audience in “history”, popular popularity in the stands, and brilliant form on the field: France has launched its Women’s World Championship at home thanks to its victory against South Korea (4-0) in a match. opening .
Wendie Renard and her teammates did not want to leave the lawn of the Parc des Princes. A few seconds after outclassing their opponent, the Blues jumped in a lap of honour in front of 45,261 spectators conquered to prolong the fun to the end.
Such a communion between the French public and its women’s football team is unheard of. Regarding TV audiences, the Blues have established a “historic record” for the discipline on Friday evening: nearly 10 million viewers were in front of TF1 , broadcaster of the meeting in the clear and “prime-time”, according to data from Médiamétrie broadcast on Saturday.
Or a considerable audience share of 44.3% !
For comparison, the first match of the men’s France team at the World Cup 2018, played on a Saturday at midday, had collected 12.59 million viewers. Popular dynamics are launched. Didier Quillot, General Manager of the French League of Professional Men’s Football exclaims:
“Frankly, nobody comes back from that number. There is a real surge of sympathy, a real boost of freshness. It is a family audience, and in the stadium where I was (Friday) evening, and in front of the television screens.”
“Widely above our forecasts”
“The media play an important role. The number of images, reports passed for a month help us enormously. It is obvious that, when they are confidential competitions, nobody knows. There, all the media … I’ve never seen so much for girls, and even for boys, “savoured Noël Le Graët, president of the French Federation (FFF) .
From the radio stations to the regional and international general press, the vast majority of the media devoted a large part to the event. The press gallery of the Parc des Princes was not as busy since the Champions League 8th finals against Manchester United!
Enough to reassure FIFA and its president Gianni Infantino, who had set the goal of “the billion viewers” cumulated for this edition, while the World-2015 in Canada had raised “750 million”.
At the level of the influx, nearly a million tickets have been sold for the 52 matches of the competition which will take place in nine host cities (Grenoble, Le Havre, Lyon, Montpellier, Nice, Paris, Reims, Rennes and Valenciennes).
“We are at 16 sold- out matches throughout the competition. We have far exceeded the number of tickets planned. The stadiums are almost all full, except for some posters a little difficult compared to the population. We are very much above our forecasts, “said Le Graët.
Norway, next opponent this Wednesday
And the Blue also sent a strong signal to their opponents. A year after the second star of the French men’s team in Russia, Amandine Henry’s teammates are able to climb the roof of the world?
“It’s simple, I asked them to win! Le Graët recalled while Les Bleues have not gone beyond the quarter-finals in the last three major competitions (World Cup-2015, Olympic Games-2016, Euro-2017). Their best result remains a semifinal in 2011.
“People are hoping for it, but so are we. We would like to copy the boys a bit, that’s for sure, “said coach Corinne Deacon, after the opening match.
“Now every thing in its time. We still have not won anything. There are six steps to go, six games where you have to be serious. Then we’ll see, but the priority is the second match against Norway.
The French players will leave Paris Saturday to join Nice, where they will play their second match of group stage, Wednesday (9pm) . With the feeling of having already struck a blow on the psychological level.
“When other nations talk about us, they position us rather as favuorites of this competition because we are the host country. If we can scare these teams again, as long as it lasts!”