The excellent infrastructure, some outstanding quality of the games, twists and turns, favourites losing their crowns, powerhouses like Germany and Belgium being eliminated, and 120 goals in 48 matches… The 2022 FIFA World Cup had it all and it made for excellent viewing throughout all the continents and all the countries in the world.
Qatar has truly put on a show to remember, setting the benchmark for future editions of the FIFA World Cup to come, with excellent attendances throughout the eight venues that have been hosting the tournament since 20 November, when Qatar and Ecuador threw off the biggest show on Earth.
While the attendance at the stadiums reached 94% of the capacity after the first 16 games, as reported by FIFA, the interest was huge in large swathes around the Globe, as the pledge to make Qatar 2022 the most exciting edition of the FIFA World Cup is slowly starting to land.
According to FIFA, the Qatar 2022 tournament has been getting huge ratings throughout all the continents, with several records being beaten in Argentina, Costa Rica, Japan and Canada.
Japan was surely one of the biggest dark horses of the competition, winning both against Germany and Spain, with their excellent performances reeling in huge ratings during the matches of the ”Samurai Blue”. After the win against Germany, 36.37 million viewers tuned in to see the loss against Costa Rica, 0-1, with an increase of nearly 30% from the previous match.
In total, the audience was 74% higher in Japan than the average domestic group stage audience during the FIFA World Cup in 2018, a huge uptick, with the interest in football piquing at the right time.
With the Republic of Korea qualifying after a nail-biting game against Portugal, ratings will surely be on the rise in the Asian country, after having already been improved by 100% in comparison to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
For the opening match against Uruguay, which ended in a 0-0 stalemate, 11.14 million people watched the game, a 97% uptick from 2014 and an 18% uptick from Russia in 2018.
Returning for the first time to the FIFA World Cup since 1986, Canada was a hit in their home country, with a share of 68.4% during the match against Croatia, which means that two out of three TVs were showing the game throughout the country. The average audience in Canada for their make-or-break tie with Croatia was 4.33 million, 17% higher than Canada’s opening match and 12% higher than the top combined audience in the territory for the 2018 tournament.
But the biggest numbers definitely come from South America, as the passion for football in that part of the world is unparalleled. After conceding a loss in the game against Saudi Arabia, 1-2, Argentina was in a must-win situation against Mexico, and the country rallied behind “La Albiceleste”, with an average audience for Lionel Scaloni’s side being 8.48 million; delivering an amazing audience share of 81.3%, or four of five TVs on the game during the match. Despite the loss against Saudi Arabia, the match registered a 5% uptick, which means that nearly all of the country watched the game against Mexico.
Excellent numbers have been also recorded in Spain, with 11.9 million or 65% of the country watching the game against Germany, which ended in a draw, 1-1, on TVE and GOL MUNDIAL combined, exceeding the audience of any group stage game for the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
Portugal’s match with Uruguay on Monday 28 November was the highest TV audience in Portugal for a FIFA World Cup match ever. In total, 5.35 million viewers in Portugal watched at least one minute of coverage as the team progressed to the knockout stages. And in the Netherlands, over three quarters (76.6%) of all people watching TV in the Netherlands witnessed Cody Gakpo’s wonder strike in their 1-1 draw with Ecuador. This was the highest TV audience in the country in 2022 and greater than any match during the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
According to FIFA, a combined 3.572 billion viewers – more than half of the global population aged four and over – tuned in to world football’s ultimate competition, according to audience data for official broadcast coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The final between France and Croatia on 15 July attracted a combined global audience of 1.12 billion, comprising 884.37 million viewers tuning in to linear TV coverage and a further 231.82 million out-of-home and digital-only viewers.