World Cup television coverage breaks viewing records: FIFA

Opening matches set new audience highs for 2014 all over the world as fans watched in record numbers.

Reuters June 22, 2014
The new record highlights the growing popularity of the competition and football around the world. PHOTO: FILE

BRAZIL: Japan’s clash against Ivory Coast was one of the most viewed games of the 2014 World Cup so far as television coverage shattered a host of records during the first round of group matches, Fifa said on Friday.

As many as 34.1 million viewers in Japan watched the team’s 2-1 defeat by the Ivorians on the NHK channel at 10am local time. A total of 42.9 million people in Brazil saw the hosts beat Croatia 3-1 in the tournament’s opener on TV Globo.

The match between the US and Ghana was watched by 11.1 million people on ESPN in the United States, setting a new record for ESPN coverage of a men’s World Cup match.

“These record-breaking figures show just how popular football and the Fifa World Cup is across the world, from Japan to Argentina,” said Fifa TV director Niclas Ericson.

“We are seeing highly encouraging growth in interest in markets such as the United States and Australia.”

England’s 2-1 defeat by Italy in the Amazon city of Manaus attracted 14.2 million on BBC 1 in the UK and 12.8 million on RAI 1, the highest TV audiences in both countries in 2014.

Germany’s ARD channel had 26.4 million watching the country’s 4-0 win over Portugal. 

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd,  2014.

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