Norwegian women soccer team in action during their first training session in Hangzhou, China on Friday. EPA
The 32 matches will be broadcast to more than 200 countries, up 25 per cent from the last tournament in the United States four years ago as the women's game continues to grow in popularity.
More than 900 journalists are accredited for the September 10-30 tournament first held in 1991 when China was also host nation.
"This year's event will set yet another benchmark in terms of event coverage," said FIFA executive Worawi Makudi, chairman of the Committee for Women's Football, said Friday.
Only eight years ago in the United States, the women's World Cup was broadcast in just 67 countries. By 2003, it had grown to 144 nations worldwide with a cumulative television audience of 526 million viewers.
Makudi said he expected the tournament to be "a football festival."
"The impressive interest of broadcasters and the extent of coverage of the FIFA women's World Cup makes us very proud about what has been achieved over the last decade, particularly with regard to the level of play," he said.
"I am convinced that the performances of the 16 teams over the next three weeks will further enhance this trend."
Lily Xue, chairman of China's Olympic Organizing Committee, said the tournament was a "big challenge" and a "test run" for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing concerning transport, security and broadcasting logistics.
"Organizing this World Cup could even be a bigger challenge than the Olympics," he said.
More than 26 million women now play football, amounting to 10 per cent of the world?s footballers, according to FIFA.
Holders Germany and Argentina get the tournament underway on Monday at the Hongkou stadium in Shanghai. The 16 finalists are playing initially in four groups at five venue cities - Shanghai, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Tianjin and Wuhan.