Women’s World Cups

Womens World CupENGLAND AT THE WOMEN’S WORLD CUP

The Women’s World Cup began in earnest in November 1991, with a twelve team ‘World Championships for Women’s Football’ taking place in China. Every four years subsequently, the more familiar ‘FIFA World Cup’ term has been in use as the tournament continually went from strength to strength. England first qualified for the Finals in 1995, when media coverage in this country was extremely limited. As the 1990s went on, Live coverage was limited to occasional internationals and FA Cup Finals before the expansion of sports broadcasters in the 21st Century catapulted the game to another level. After a twelve year absence from the competition, England qualified for the 2007 World Cup, gaining national interest. The game continued to grow and by 2011 a rebranded top League was launched, qualifying for the biggest prize in football became the norm for the Lionesses and the broadcasters treated it as the spectacle it was. First I take a look at the coverage of England’s World Cup appearances beginning with that 1995 event. It starts here!

 

Image result for 1995 women's world cup

SWEDEN 1995

BBC SportThere was no Live UK terrestrial coverage of the 1995 Women’s World Cup, the BBC did show brief highlights of all three group matches. This was under the banner International Match of the Day introduced by Tony Gubba. These went out on the same night as each group match, in the same programme as men’s international highlights from the Umbro Cup in England. Previews and round-ups were also shown during the regular Grandstand broadcasts. Additionally, the Final had its own dedicated forty minute highlights programme in the early hours of Monday morning (19th June). Hazel Irvine introduced with commentary by Clive Tyldesley. John Helm voiced highlights of the tournament for FIFA/Host Broadcaster.

Group B; Tuesday 6th June
ENGLAND 3-2 Canada, 6pm BST

Thursday 8th June
ENGLAND 0-2 Norway, 6pm BST

Saturday 10th June
ENGLAND 3-2 Nigeria, 3pm BST

KNOCKOUT STAGES – QUARTER FINALS
Tuesday 13th June
ENGLAND 0-3 Germany, 7.15pm BST

WWC 1995

Red England crestENGLAND SQUAD Manager; Ted Copeland
Goalkeepers; Pauline Cope, Lesley Higgs
Defenders; Tina Mapes, Samantha Burton, Clare Taylor, Brenda Sempare, Donna Smith, Louise Walker, Mary Phillip, Julie Fletcher
Midfielders; Hope Powell, Gillian Coultard, Debbie Bampton (C), Karen Burke, Kerry Davis, Sian Williams, Becky Easton
Forwards; Karen Farley, Karen Walker, Marieanne Spacey


2007 FIFA Women's World Cup.svg

CHINA 2007

England qualified for their first World Cup in twelve years. The tournament increased from twelve teams back then to sixteen teams in 1999, with that format continuing in China. Taking place later on in the year, September instead of the usual summer berth, the focus was competing for attention with the men’s matches, now in full swing domestically. For UK audiences, kick off times were in the middle of the afternoon. Rights holder BBC afforded Live coverage and studio presentation to the England matches as well as the Semis and Final. The rest of the tournament was rounded up in nightly highlights programmes on BBC Two. Gabby Logan fronted proceedings, a New Year signing from ITV. Hosted from the usual Match of the Day studio in London she was joined by regular pundits Gavin Peacock and Karen Walker, whilst Guy Mowbray was the main commentator alongside Leeds United Ladies forward Lucy Ward. Rising BBC Sport star Jake Humphrey reported from the England camp in the Far East in his first major football tournament having previously been a part of the 2006 Commenwealth Games and stood in on magazine programmes. England’s campaign reached the Quarter Finals once again before bowing out to eventual bronze medalists the United States. The tournament began to make England’s players more familiar in the public conscience for the first real time, having previously only had sporadic Live appearances on free-to-air television for club and country.

Group A; Tuesday 11th September
bbc twoENGLAND 2-2 Japan, 1pm – 12.45pm-3pm
Gabby Logan in the studio in London with Gavin Peacock & Karen Walker. Commentary by Guy Mowbray & Lucy Ward. Jake Humphrey reported

Friday 14th September
bbc twoGermany 0-0 ENGLAND, 1pm – 12.45pm-3pm
Gabby Logan in the studio with Gavin Peacock & Karen Walker. Commentary by Guy Mowbray & Lucy Ward. Jake Humphrey reported

Monday 17th September
bbc twoENGLAND 6-1 Argentina, 1pm – 12.50pm-3.15pm
Gabby Logan in the studio with Gavin Peacock & Karen Walker. Commentary by Guy Mowbray & Lucy Ward. Jake Humphrey reported

KNOCKOUT STAGES – QUARTER FINALS
Saturday 22nd September
LIVE on BBC OneENGLAND 0-3 USA, 1pm – 12.45pm-3pm
Gabby Logan in the studio with Gavin Peacock & Karen Walker. Commentary by Guy Mowbray & Lucy Ward. Jake Humphrey reported

WWC titles 2007     WWC 2007 graphics

Red England crestENGLAND SQUAD Manager; Hope Powell
Goalkeepers;
 Rachel Brown, Siobhan Chamberlain, Carly Telford
Defenders; Alex Scott, Faye White (C), Casey Stoney, Mary Phillip, Rachel Unitt, Anita Asante, Lindsay Johnson
Midfielders; Karen Carney, Katie Chapman, Fara Williams, Jill Scott, Rachel Yankey, Sue Smith, Vicky Exley
Forwards; Kelly Smith, Eni Aluko, Jody Handley, Lianne Sanderson


2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.svg

GERMANY 2011

Having enjoyed decent exposure in 2007, the subsequent 2009 Euros and the 2011 World Cup were a backwards step in terms of terrestrial coverage. At a time when the England national team was ever improving, reaching the 2009 Final and climbing to tenth in the world rankings, and a first professional League was established in April 2011 – the FA Women’s Super League – the BBC put minimal effort into building the fanbase at tournaments. The three England group games were shown Live on the Red Button with highlights on BBC Two late night. British Eurosport did show the majority of the tournament Live on satellite, as they had done regularly over the years, but it’s the free platform of the BBC which was required to gain national interest. The coverage on the Red Button did receive the studio treatment in London, again fronted by Gabby Logan alongside former internationals Jo Potter and Sue Smith as well as BBC Sport’s Martin Keown. Over in Germany they sent a small team of commentator Guy Mowbray, co-commentator Lucy Ward and reporter Alistair Magowan (not the impressionist but a BBC journalist who provided reports on the tournament across TV and online). Nigel Adderley also contributed to coverage, reporting for radio and interviews with the England squad for television build up and highlights. When England reached the knockout stage, a third World Cup Quarter Final in as many appearances, there was increased interest and clamour from the public for the match to be shown on a main channel. Eventually the France clash was promoted from the Red Button to BBC Two, only for the Lionesses to lost on penalties. The mistakes made by the Beeb over the past couple of tournaments were clearly noted and coverage was improved upon for subsequent years. Outside of their coverage of England, the Final was broadcast Live on BBC Three with the same core team.

Group B; Monday 27th June
LIVE via Red ButtonENGLAND 1-1 Mexico, 5pm – 4.45pm-7pm
Gabby Logan in the studio in London with Jo Potter & Sue Smith. Commentary by Guy Mowbray & Lucy Ward. Alistair Magowan reported

Friday 1st July
LIVE via Red ButtonENGLAND 2-1 New Zealand, 5.15pm – 5pm-7.15pm
Gabby Logan in the studio with Jo Potter & Martin Keown. Commentary by Guy Mowbray & Lucy Ward. Alistair Magowan reported

Tuesday 5th July
LIVE via Red ButtonENGLAND 2-0 Japan, 5.15pm – 5pm-7.15pm
Gabby Logan in the studio with Jo Potter & Martin Keown. Commentary by Guy Mowbray & Lucy Ward. Alistair Magowan reported

KNOCKOUT STAGES – QUARTER FINALS
Saturday 9th July
bbc twoENGLAND 1-1 France (AET, 3-4 on penalties), 5pm – 4.50pm-7.10pm [Extended to 7.45pm]
Gabby Logan in the studio with Jo Potter, Sue Smith & Martin Keown. Commentary by Guy Mowbray & Lucy Ward. Alistair Magowan reported

WWC 2011 graphics

Red England crestENGLAND SQUAD Manager; Hope Powell
Goalkeepers;
Karen Bardsley, Rachel Brown, Siobhan Chamberlain
Defenders; Alex Scott, Rachel Unitt, Faye White (C), Casey Stoney, Laura Bassett, Sophie Bradley, Steph Houghton, Claire Rafferty, Dunia Susi
Midfielders; Jess Clarke, Fara Williams, Jill Scott, Rachel Yankey, Anita Asante
Forwards; Ellen White, Kelly Smith, Karen Carney, Eni Aluko


Tournament logo

CANADA 2015

The 2015 tournament was once again covered by the BBC, who elected to broadcast a large proportion of the matches in the expanded 24 team tournament Live. Jacqui Oatley anchored proceedings from the BBC’s sport studios in Salford. The time difference with Canada made for a lot of late nights and UK-unfriendly kick off times, particularly as the tournament progressed. Prime time England matches were shown on BBC Three whilst early evening and late night kick offs were bumped up to the main channels. Tina Daheley was the bridge between the studio and the stadium, interviewing players and managers as well as appearing in-vision to provide some of the atmosphere. In the commentary box the established pair of previous years – Guy Mowbray and Lucy Ward – were replaced by a new lead of Jonathan Pearce and Sue Smith, the latter moving from the studio to the gantry. Ward was still a key part of the coverage, pairing up with regular WSL partner on BT Sport Steve Bower for the secondary matches. Due to England’s progress all the way to the Semi Finals, the coverage and tournament gathered more interest in the UK as it went on and would provide an immediate bump in attention that the Women’s game received in this country in the weeks and months afterwards.

Group F; Tuesday 9th June
bbc twoENGLAND 0-1 France, 6pm – 5.30-8pm
Jacqui Oatley in the studio in Salford with Rachel Yankey, Natasha Dowie & Danny Mills. Commentary by Jonathan Pearce & Sue Smith. Tina Daheley reported

Saturday 13th June
LIVE on BBC ThreeENGLAND 2-1 Mexico, 9pm – 8.30-10.55pm
Jacqui Oatley in the studio with Natasha Dowie, Rachel Yankey & Trevor Sinclair. Commentary by Jonathan Pearce & Sue Smith. Tina Daheley reported

Wednesday 17th June
LIVE on BBC ThreeENGLAND 2-1 Colombia, 9pm – 8.30-10.55pm
Jacqui Oatley in the studio with Rachel Yankey, Natasha Dowie & Trevor Sinclair. Commentary by Jonathan Pearce & Sue Smith. Tina Daheley reported

KNOCKOUT STAGES – LAST 16
Monday 22nd June
LIVE on BBC ThreeENGLAND 2-1 Norway, 10pm – 9.30pm-12.15am
Jacqui Oatley in the studio with Natasha Dowie, Rachel Yankey & Trevor Sinclair. Commentary by Jonathan Pearce & Sue Smith. Tina Daheley reported

QUARTER FINALS
Saturday 27th June
LIVE on BBC OneCanada 1-2 ENGLAND, 12.30am – 12.05-2.35am
Jacqui Oatley in the studio with Rachel Yankey, Rachel Brown-Finnis & Trevor Sinclair. Commentary by Jonathan Pearce & Sue Smith. Tina Daheley reported

SEMI FINALS
Wednesday 1st July
LIVE on BBC OneENGLAND 1-2 Japan, 12am – 11.10pm-2.05am
Jacqui Oatley in the studio with Natasha Dowie, Rachel Yankey & Trevor Sinclair. Pitchside; reporter Tina Daheley with Faye White. Commentary by Jonathan Pearce & Sue Smith

THIRD PLACE PLAY OFF
Saturday 4th July
LIVE on BBC ThreeENGLAND 0-0 Germany (1-0 AET), 9pm – 8.30-11pm [Extended to 11.30pm]
Jacqui Oatley in the studio with Rachel Yankey & Lindsay Johnson. Pitchside; reporter Tina Daheley with Faye White. Commentary by Steve Bower & Lucy Ward

WWC 2015 titles

 

Red England crestENGLAND SQUAD Manager; Mark Sampson
Goalkeepers;
Karen Bardsley, Carly Telford, Siobhan Chamberlain
Defenders; Alex Scott, Claire Rafferty, Steph Houghton (C), Laura Bassett, Lucy Bronze, Casey Stoney, Alex Greenwood
Midfielders; Fara Williams, Jordan Nobbs, Jill Scott, Karen Carney, Jade Moore, Katie Chapman, Jo Potter
Forwards; Eni Aluko, Toni Duggan, Jodie Taylor, Lianne Sanderson, Fran Kirby, Ellen White

 

BBC-SportBBC SQUAD
Presenter; Jacqui Oatley
Pundits; Rachel Yankey, Natasha Dowie, Rachel Brown-Finnis, Faye White, Trevor Sinclair, Danny Mills
Commentators; Jonathan Pearce, Steve Bower, Nigel Adderley, Sue Smith, Lucy Ward, Gilly Flaherty
Reporters; Tina Daheley, Eilidh Barbour


2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.svg

FRANCE 2019

The BBC covered every single match from the Women’s World Cup Live, with 50 out of 52 on television in 2019, and the other two clashing matches available online. England games and selected high profile matches were on BBC One, with many others on BBC’s Two and Four. The remainders were on the Red Button, all in all making it the most watched women’s football competition the UK has ever seen. Record peak viewing figures were achieved firstly in the England v Scotland match (6.1 million) followed by further highs in the knockout rounds; last 16 against Cameroon (6.9 million) and Quarter Final against Norway (7.64 million). The highest rated women’s football match ever to date was achieved in the Semi Final though when a peak audience of 11.7 million viewers saw England versus USA; almost trebling the previous tournament high. With two home nations qualifying, and in the same group, the BBC utilised a three person commentary team for the head-to-head match; a co-commentator representing each nation alongside lead voice Jonathan Pearce, who covered his second Women’s World Cup for the corporation. Gabby Logan once again led the studio coverage, which was all presented from the grounds for the first time. Red Button and certain other matches did not receive presentation and were handled out-of-vision by the commentary team. It was also the first time VAR was used in the tournament. The consequence was lots of controversial decisions with inexperienced referees and a plethora of delays and added on time causing some issues with the run times.

Group D; Sunday 9th June
LIVE on BBC OneENGLAND 2-1 Scotland, 5pm – 4.30pm-7.10pm
Gabby Logan in the stadium with Alex Scott, Gemma Fay & Hope Solo. Commentary by Jonathan Pearce, Sue Smith & Scott Booth. Jo Currie & Kelly Somers reported with fan interviews by Chelcee Grimes

Friday 14th June
LIVE on BBC OneENGLAND 1-0 Argentina, 8pm – 7.30pm-10.05pm
Gabby Logan in the stadium with Alex Scott, Jordan Nobbs & Dion Dublin. Commentary by Jonathan Pearce & Sue Smith. Jo Currie reported

Wednesday 19th June
LIVE on BBC OneENGLAND 2-0 Japan, 8pm – 7.30pm-10.05pm
Gabby Logan in the stadium with Alex Scott, Jordan Nobbs & Dion Dublin. Commentary by Jonathan Pearce & Sue Smith. Jo Currie reported

KNOCKOUT STAGES – LAST 16
Sunday 23rd June
LIVE on BBC OneENGLAND 3-0 Cameroon, 4.30pm – 4-6.35pm [Overran until 6.45pm]
Gabby Logan in the stadium with Alex Scott, Jordan Nobbs & Dion Dublin. Commentary by Jonathan Pearce & Sue Smith. Jo Currie reported

QUARTER FINALS
Thursday 27th June
LIVE on BBC OneENGLAND 3-0 Norway, 8pm – 7.30-10.10pm
Gabby Logan in the stadium with Alex Scott, Jordan Nobbs & Dion Dublin. Commentary by Jonathan Pearce & Sue Smith. Jo Currie reported with fan interviews by Chelcee Grimes

SEMI FINALS
Tuesday 2nd July
LIVE on BBC OneENGLAND 1-2 USA, 8pm – 7.30-10.15pm
Gabby Logan in the stadium with Alex Scott, Jordan Nobbs & Hope Solo. Pitchside; Eilidh Barbour with Dion Dublin. Commentary by Jonathan Pearce & Sue Smith. Jo Currie reported

THIRD PLACE PLAY OFF
Saturday 6th July
LIVE on BBC OneENGLAND 1-2 Sweden, 4pm – 3.45-6.10pm
Eilidh Barbour presented, from Lyon’s stadium ahead of the Final, with Alex Scott & Dion Dublin. Commentary by Robyn Cowen & Lucy Ward. Jo Currie reported

WWC 2019 titles WWC 2019 Graphics WWC 2019 Studio

 

Red England crestENGLAND SQUAD Manager; Phil Neville
Goalkeepers; Karen Bardsley, Carly Telford, Mary Earps
Defenders; Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood, Steph Houghton (C), Millie Bright, Demi Stokes, Leah Williamson, Abbie McManus, Rachel Daly
Midfielders; Keira Walsh, Jill Scott, Jade Moore, Georgia Stanway, Karen Carney, Lucy Staniforth
Forwards; Nikita Parris, Jodie Taylor, Fran Kirby, Toni Duggan, Ellen White, Beth Mead

 

BBC SQUADBBC-Sport
Presenters;
 Gabby Logan, Eilidh Barbour, Reshmin Chowdhury
Pundits; Alex Scott, Hope Solo, Dion Dublin, Gemma Fay, Jordan Nobbs, Laura Bassett, Casey Stoney, Rachel Brown-Finnis, Claire Rafferty
Commentators; Jonathan Pearce, Robyn Cowen, Mark Scott, Sue Smith, Scott Booth, Lucy Ward, Faye White
Reporters; Jo Currie (England), Kelly Somers (Scotland), Chelcee Grimes (roving)


 

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