The broadcasters for the two finalist teams - ARD in Germany and TV4 in Sweden - set audience records for not just for women's football but - in the case of TV4 - for any kind of programming broadcast by the channel.
It was not just Germany that struck gold in the exciting final of the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup. The broadcasters for the two finalist teams - ARD in Germany and TV4 in Sweden - set audience records for not just for women's football but - in the case of TV4 - for any kind of programming broadcast by the channel.
Germany won the Championship on Sunday 12th October, after a golden goal from substitute Nia Kuenzer gave the team a 2-1 victory over Sweden in the final game, played out in front of 26,137 crowd in Carson, California. After trailing by a goal at half-time (scored by Sweden's Hanna Ljungberg in the 41st minute), Germany rallied with a second-half equaliser by Maren Meinert in the 46th minute. Both teams then pushed hard for the game winner. German substitute Kuenzer finally scored the title-clinching golden goal in the 98th minute - just eight minutes into extra time.
Television viewing figures for the final reached new highs for women's football in both Germany and Sweden.
Germany's national channel ARD reported an average audience of 10 millon - representing a market share of 33% - during regular match time. This increased to 12 million viewers (35% market share) during extra time. The net viewing reach overall was over 13 million Germans. This is comparable to a rating for a men's "A" match with German participation and well beyond the channels' expectations.
Viewership in Sweden was even more dramatic. The game was watched live on television by almost four million viewers - an average of over 3.2 million (rating of 37.4) during regular time, rising to 3.8 million (rating of 44.1) in the exciting extension period. TV4 was delighted with this result, confirming it to be the highest audience rating ever achieved by the channel, for any type of programme! Moreover, this match audience propelled TV4 to its first appearance in Sweden's all-time "Top 10" list of programme ratings.
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