The group stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil reached record numbers of viewers across the world, with a breakthrough performance in the United States and more impressive progress in Europe, Asia and the rest of the Americas. “All eight World Cup groups set viewing highs for at least one territory, underlining the breadth of football’s popularity across the world,” say a FIFA press release, with the blockbuster figures supporting FIFA’s expectation of an increase in the global TV audience compared to the 3.2 billion reach of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa™. Said Niclas Ericson, Director of FIFA TV:
“We believe the overall audience figures from the 2014 FIFA World Cup will show again that the World Cup is the most popular single-sporting event on the planet and that football is the world’s number one sport. To see this overwhelming surge of interest in the United States is a true ‘watershed’ moment for the FIFA World Cup and for football. We have been thrilled to see the way the American fans are embracing the FIFA World Cup like never before. We have also seen some great numbers from Asia, Europe and other parts of the Americas, which gives us confidence that this World Cup will prove to be the most popular ever in terms of TV audiences.”.
Some of the key figures from the Group Stages in Brazil include: USA: Portugal game was most watched football match ever on US TV, higher than any of NBA Finals and higher than average of 2013 World Series 2013 (ESPN, UNIVISION: 24.7 million combined).- Brazil: Croatia match drew highest 2014 TV sports broadcast (TV Globo, Bandeirantes: 47.4 million combined).- France: Switzerland game reached largest TV audience since 2007 (TF1: 16.7 million).- Germany: USA match attracted biggest TV audience in 2 years (ZDF: 27.3 million).- Italy: Uruguay game watched by biggest TV audience in 2 years (RAI 1, Sky Mondiale, RAI Sport: 19.3 million combined).- Japan: Ivory Coast game was biggest sports broadcast of 2014 (NHK: 34.1 million).- Netherlands: Chile match reached biggest TV audience since 2010 FIFA World Cup Final™ (Ned 1: 8.1 million).- Spain: Chile match attracted biggest TV audience for 2 years (Telecinco: 13.2 million).- United Kingdom: Uruguay game drew biggest TV audience in 2 years (ITV: 17.9 million).
This article was republished with permission from Karl-Heinz Huba, the editor and publisher of the Sport Intern.