Ten days before the kick-off of the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011™, the milestone of 75 per cent of tickets sold (670,000) was reached. Now in the first week of the competition, it is the number of TV viewers in Germany that is the hot topic.

Whilst Germany’s opening game against Canada broke new records for a women’s football game in the host nation, last night’s match between Germany and Nigeria saw a combined average audience of 16.6 million people watching the game, representing over 50 per cent of all those watching television in the evening.

The large majority of the average audience was generated by ARD, attracting an average of 16.4 million viewers to their coverage. This beats the previous record only set on Sunday for the Germany v Canada match by 6 per cent.

Furthermore, last night’s viewership was the highest ever TV audience for the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ outside of China and the United States. To put these exceptional figures into context, a combined average of 18.96 million viewers watched the final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ in Germany.

These remarkable ratings were also 30 per cent higher than any other programme broadcast yesterday on German television.

In the other match from yesterday, over 4.6 million viewers on average in Germany tuned to see France defeat Canada 4-0. This represented nearly a quarter of all television viewers in the market, ranking itself also in yesterday’s Top Five domestic TV audiences.