Farmer, not football, scores RTL ratings

'Farmer Wants a Wife' compensates for lack of soccer

COLOGNE, Germany -- Sweethearts, not soccer, scored for commercial network RTL, as its special wedding edition of "Farmer Wants a Wife" drew 6.1 million viewers for a 22.5% market share Monday evening.

The rating was a pale shadow of the 9.6 million that caught the season finale of the reality program, in which a lonely farmer looks for a suitable mate, in December last year. But it was an impressive showing for summer replacement programming.

RTL also got off on the right foot with home makeover show "Einsatz in 4 Wanden," which drew an average 6 million viewers for a 21.8% market share.

It was a return to the top for RTL after a month in which public broadcasters, airing the bulk of World Cup soccer matches, owned the German audience. RTL aired only nine World Cup matches, compared to 27 and 28 respectively for pubwebs ZDF and ARD.

But with soccer no longer on the schedule, Germany's public broadcasters had to put up with third best. ZDF drew 3.3 million viewers (12.1% market share) for a repeat of its crime series "Nachtschicht" and 3 million -- or 11.4% -- tuned into public net ARD for the season premiere of series "Der Winzerkonig."