Advanced Television

World Cup breaks broadcast records

July 15, 2014

Lionel Messi ArgentinaIn advance of fully-audited global viewing figures for the FIFA World Cup on the night of July 13th, TV broadcasters around the world have joined in celebrating an outstanding set of results from the tournament.

The group matches had already set new TV records in a number of markets, from Belgium to the US. Sales of television advertising and subscriptions have also benefited. And records continued to tumble on screen as well as on the pitch throughout the knock out stages, with new records set for the most-watched TV programme in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and other countries.

Broadcasters have also been quick to grasp the opportunities provided by online distribution. Germany’s semi-final victory over Brazil was watched online by a record 8.4 million fans across Europe and the Middle East including 2.35 million visitors on mobile platforms operated by broadcasters. And viewer engagement was up, with the same match generating a new record for any sports event of over 35m tweets.

Broadcasters are already optimistic that the numbers may approach or even surpass the 909 million who watched the Spain v Netherlands final in 2010.

Top TV viewing figures for the final phase of the FIFA World Cup 2014:

  • Germany: an all-time-high audience of 41.89 million viewers tuned in to watch their national team win the World Cup (86.3 per cent share). An online survey conducted on early Sunday evening suggested that an additional 12 million Germans cheered the game in a public space.

  • Belgium: the TV viewing record set during the match against South Korea was broken during the Red Devils’ win over the US team. It became the most watched football match in the history of Belgian television with 5.5 million viewers (85 per cent TV audience).

  • The Netherlands: the semi-final against Argentina has set a new record of 12.4 million viewers including out-of-home viewing (89.3 per cent share). The game triggered 158,192 tweets.

  • France: the 0-1 win for Germany reached an audience of 16.9 million people (72.1 per cent share). The game scored more than one million related tweets.

  • Sweden: the final game was the most viewed match of the World Cup 2014 with 2.58 million viewers (73.84 per cent share)

  • UK: a peak TV audience of 21 million tuned in for the World Cup final.

  • Poland: the final achieved the biggest Polish TV audience since 2012: 10.56 million (63.43 per cent share).

  • Portugal: the match against the US attracted 3.6 million viewers (75.4 per cent share). It was the second most viewed broadcast in Portugal since March 2012.

  • Hungary: the final attracted 1.86 million Hungarians to their TV screens (47.8 per cent share).

  • Austria: whereas Brazil’s defeat by Germany was watched by 1.36 million viewers (52 per cent audience share), the final game reached a record audience of 1.81 million viewers (55.3 per cent making it the highest rated football in Austria since the Euro 2008.

  • Ireland: the final scored a TV audience of 857,000 people (55.73 per cent share) and the total world cup triggered 2.5 million online streams. Looking specifically at adults 15-34, the final also ranks as the number one programme this year to-date across all channels.

  • Italy: the Uruguay game reached a total of 19.19 million viewers (81.5 per cent share).

  • Romania: the highest TV audience share for this World Cup was reported for the final match: 43 per cent.

  • The US: Netherlands vs. Argentina match ranks as the highest-rated and most-viewed World Cup semi-final match ever on any US network with 6.8 million viewers.

  • Argentina: 63.7 per cent of the Argentinian TV audience watched their national team being defeated by Germany in the finals.

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