Women's World Cup 2019 smashes TV records as almost 1 billion watch matches

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Phil Neville Alex Morgan England USA Women's World Cup 2019
The competition's rise in popularity has seen it smash world records this year and the average audience is expected to double for Sunday's final

Women's World Cup 2019 matches could exceed one billion viewers when the final takes place on Sunday with TV records set in the UK, USA, Brazil and beyond.

The tournament has already reached an audience of over 850 million across all viewing platforms since it kicked off on June 7 in Paris.

USA and Netherlands will contest the final on Sunday in a match that is expected to see the competition's average global audience for a live match to double. 

Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, France and China also saw records set in viewing figures due to their respective runs in the finals.

The second-round tie between U.S. and Brazil reached the all-time highest global audience, with over 58m fans tuning in to the clash on television.

In the UK, the record for Women's World Cup audiences more than trebled, as almost 9m people watched the semi-final clash between USWNT and England, smashing the previous high before the tournament of 2.7m.

And in Netherlands and Sweden, the semi-final clash between the two sides received an audience share of 78.5 per cent and 79.8% respectively, raking in 5m Dutch viewers and 2.5m in Sweden.

A rise in popularity the women's game has prompted FIFA president Gianni Infantino to raise the prospect of increasing the number of teams from 24 to 32 while doubling the prize money on offer .

The bidding process for the 2023 tournament is already underway as the vote to decide the hosts will be made next March.

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Nine countries have put their bid forward, with Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea all hopeful of landing the tournament, though Infantino's latest proposals mean the process could be restarted.

"We will need to act more quickly if we want to have 32 teams already in 2023," the president said.

"We will discuss it as a matter of urgency and see if we can already decide to increase for 2023, in which case we should re-open the bidding process and allow everyone to have a chance to organise or maybe co-host for some of those who have been bidding already for a 24-team World Cup."