The German women's soccer team won a lot of new fans at the European Championship. But will they also be watching when the Bundesliga starts this week? In any case, the range of live games on free-to-air television is significantly larger than for men.
"We will now do everything we can to take the euphoria with us into the new season," said DFB director Holger Blask in view of the record 17.897 million TV viewers at the European Championship final. "The opening game between Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayern Munich is the perfect starting point." The match in the big stadium can be seen free-to-air on Eurosport.
Does the EM euphoria cause rising quotas?
The niche broadcaster broadcasts one game per game day, just like in the previous season. However, the interest was modest. Eurosport reported an average audience of around 100,000 viewers for the 22 games.
The ARD broadcast of the game between FC Bayern Munich and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in October 2021, with an average of 1.52 million TV viewers, showed the potential that the women’s Bundesliga can have. Will the EM euphoria also lead to rising quotas in the Bundesliga? "I hope that's the case," said the ARD sports director: "But I can't predict it." He warned against expectations that were too high: "We are also familiar with the phenomenon from handball that enthusiasm for major tournaments does not always have an impact on the league."
Wiske: "The men's leagues outshine everything"
According to the media scientist Jana Wiske, the conditions are currently favorable. "This tailwind from the EM and the progressive professionalization increase the attractiveness and thus the attraction of the women's Bundesliga," said the professor at Ansbach University. "More and more offshoots of the men's Bundesliga are getting involved and thus attracting fans from these clubs."
For the scientist, however, "media question marks remain, the men's leagues continue to outshine everything". Wiske said: "It is important to find one's place in the media through further growing professional structures and thus increasing attractiveness and not to orientate oneself on the ratings of men."
Telekom has started the new season with optimism, showing every league game live for the first time in the previous season and also broadcasting all 132 games this season via its paid service Magentasport. "The European Championship in England showed the potential of women's football," said Telekom TV boss Arnim Butzen. "It will also give the league an extra boost in popularity."