SPORTS LAW AT THE CROSSROADS

World Cup TV figures break records with 1.12bn tuning in for final

December 21 – A record audience of more than 3.5 billion people watched this year’s World Cup in Russia, with the final between France and Croatia attracting 1.12 billion viewers, according to FIFA.

Research showed a total of 3.572 billion viewers – more than half of the global population aged four and over – watched some part of the official coverage, which was broadcast live in every territory worldwide from June 14 to July 15.

The global in-home TV audience watching at least one minute of the coverage accounted for almost 3.3 billion viewers, a 2.2% increase on the 2014 edition hosted in Brazil, according to FIFA’s audit of audience data published on Friday.

A further 309.7 million caught the action on digital platforms, public viewing areas or in bars and restaurants.

France’s 4-2 victory in the final, which gave them their second World Cup title following their triumph in 1998, was the most watched individual game of the competition.

“These figures really do support the claim that Russia 2018 was the best World Cup ever,” said FIFA’s chief commercial officer, Philippe Le Floc’h.

“The fact that half the world’s population watched the FIFA World Cup reflects not just the high quality of our award-winning live coverage, but also that fans everywhere are insatiable for world-class football.”