While attendances in Japan for the Women’s Volleyball World Championship were underwhelming for sponsors and the hosts, televisions in Italy were through the roof.
According to Rai, the rights-holder in Italy, over 14 million Italians won the gold medal match between Italy and Serbia, which Serbia won in 5 sets for their first World Championship. That gives them a 36.1% share with an average of 6,313,000 spectators, and a peak of 8 million fans (43.1%).
That means that, at one point in the match, 1 out of every 7.5 Italians were watching the match. By comparison, the 2018 Super Bowl drew an average audience of 103,000,000 viewers in the US, which means 1 in every 3.15 million. By a better comparison, the match, at its peak, drew almost the same share as the most-watched matches in Italy of the 2018 men’s soccer World Cup tournament, where Belgium and Brazil drew just over a 44% share.
For another comparison, the opening match of the 2018 Men’s Volleyball World Championships, between Italy and Japan, drew about a 9.6% share – r 1.7 million people watching. That match was hosted at the Foro Italico in Rome.
The match aired on Rai2 in Italy. Rai 2 is a free-to-view station in Italy broadcast by RAI, the country’s public broadcaster, meaning that everyone in Italy with a television receives the station free of cost.