England’s defeat in yesterday’s (August 20) FIFA Women’s World Cup final secured a peak audience of 12 million viewers for the BBC, the UK’s public-service broadcaster.

The Lionesses’ 1-0 defeat to Spain in the final of the WWC national teams soccer tournament was also viewed 3.9 million times on the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport online sites.

In Spain, meanwhile, public-service broadcaster RTVE brought in its highest-ever audience for women's soccer, as 5.6 million tuned in. This equated to 65.7% of the TV viewing share, as Spain secured their first major women's national team trophy.

Overall, 8.8 million viewers watched RTVE's coverage at some point, with a peak minute audience of 7.3 million. On the RTVE Play service, meanwhile, 933,000 unique users tuned in to live-stream the final.

In total, the final becomes the second most-watched BBC TV event this year, behind only the coronation of King Charles III in May.

The match was shown live by both the BBC and fellow free-to-air network ITV, which shared tournament broadcast rights through an eleventh-hour deal.

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By GlobalData

It has been reported that in total, there was a peak TV audience across both networks for the game of 14.8 million, with an average across the BBC and ITV of 13.3 million.

Overall, the BBC secured 21.2 million as a total audience across the WWC, while across the tournament there were 25.7 million live streams on BBC iPlayer and across the various BBC online and social platforms.

This represents an increase of 75% on the 14.7 million streams secured during the previous WWC, in France in 2019.

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: “We’re proud to be long-term partners for women’s soccer, which continues its fantastic upward trajectory.”

RTVE, meanwhile, has unveiled an average audience figure for games throughout the tournament of 1.3 million viewers, with over 12.6 million having tuned into coverage of the WWC at some point.

Through RTVE Play, at least 1.7 million viewers watched WWC action all told.

The public-service broadcaster, like the BBC and ITV, snapped up WWC rights through a deal in June.

For England’s semi-final victory against Australia, the BBC brought in a peak audience of 7.3 million on TV, and another 3.8 million through streams.

For the final of last year’s Women’s European Championships, held in England and in which the hosts beat Germany 2-1, the peak UK TV audience was 17.4 million.

In Spain, the nation's dramatic semi-final win against Sweden was watched by a peak audience of 2.7 million, before more than tripling for the final.