Fifa World Cup final generates viewership of 313 million: ZenithOptimedia

MUMBAI: According to ZenithOptimedia, the Fifa World Cup final between France and Italy on 9 July generated a television viewership of 313 million viewers across 56 countries. The largest audience came from China, where viewership peaked at 71.5 million, followed by Brazil, Germany, Vietnam, Indonesia, France, Russia, the U.K., Japan and Italy.

As per the study, Germany recorded an average match viewership of 11.8 million. The cumulative audience was 658 million, a 141-per cent increase on the 2002 World Cup. Germany's 2-0 loss to Italy in the semi-finals was watched live by 29.7 million viewers in the host nation.

The study revealed that four Asian nations (China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Japan) ranked in the top ten for audience totals. They accounted for 49 per cent of viewing among the top eleven. Japan recorded a 64-per cent fall compared to 2002 audience levels. In China, the cumulative audience fell 58 per cent compared to 2002, when the matches were broadcast in prime time and China had qualified for the World Cup for the first time.

Viewership in the U.S. peaked at just 9.4 million, but the cumulative audience of 235 million was 48-percent up on 2002 and 55-percent up on 1998. This was largely the result of Univision, whose broadcast of the Argentina versus Mexico match was the most-viewed sports broadcast in the history of U.S. Spanish-language television, with 6.7 million viewers, as per the data.

In the U.K., the BBC attracted 53 per cent of the cumulative audience, but ITV broadcast the highest-rated match: the 2-2 draw between England and Sweden, which generated an audience of 18.8 million. The BBC's best audience was 16.3 million for the match between England and Ecuador.

Largest World Cup television audiences in millions (2006):

Cumulative audience/Highest audience:

China 1,820 / 71.5

Brazil 1,140 / 60.5

Germany 658 / 29.7

Vietnam 650 / 29.8

Indonesia 589 / 23.5

France 388 / 22.2

Russia 369 / 12.9

U.K. 362 / 18.8

Japan 289 / 42.3

Italy 278 / 23.9

ZenithOptimedia's specialist consultancy agency Sponsorship Intelligence (SI) is the official provider of 2006 Fifa World Cup audiences figures to both Fifa and its TV agency, Infront.

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