German Cup Soccer Scores Record Ratings

The semi-final cup match between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund ended with a penalty shootout.

More than 13 million viewers watched the semi-final of the German Cup, the largest TV audience for any show in 2015.

Nearly a year after winning the World Cup, Germany still can't get enough of televised soccer.

More than 13 million viewers tuned in Tuesday, April 28th, for the semi-final match of the German Cup between local soccer titans Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. An average of 12.87 million watched the match – which underdogs Dortmund won in a nail-biting penalty shootout – on public broadcaster ARD. More than half a million more caught the game on its simultaneous broadcast on pay-TV outlet Sky Deutschland.

The match was the top-rated TV program of the year in Germany and the best result for any soccer broadcast in the territory so far this season. Around 45 percent of the German viewing public caught at least a portion of the match, according to ratings group GfK. 

Overall the ratings for the German Cup – a club tournament between sides in Germany's top flight Bundesliga – are up strongly on last year, when matches averaged between 7-9 million viewers.

The figures, however impressive, are still just a fraction of the ratings seen during last summer's World Cup. Audiences in Germany peaked for the World Cup final, when 34.65 million people – an all-time viewing record - watched their national squad beat Argentina to become world champions. An estimated 12 million more fans caught the final at various outdoor public viewing events.

Competing against soccer proved largely futile. Commercial network RTL drew just 2.47 million viewers for its primetime airing of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation., just 11.1 percent market share in the key 14-49 demographic, while Two and a Half Men, airing on Pro7, managed a 10.5 percent share. 

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