THE WORLD Cup in Qatar 2022 is continuing to engage TV audiences around the world with record-breaking numbers across multiple markets. In Japan, the group game between Japan and Costa Rica drew an average audience of 36.37 million viewers. This surpassed the audience of their incredible comeback against Germany in their tournament opener by over 10 million .
In the Korea Republic, 11.14 million people watched their tournament opener against Uruguay. Fans in Europe have also been tuning in for the second round of group stage matches in great numbers, 65 per cent of people watching TV in Spain saw La Roja take on Germany in one of the most anticipated games of the tournament so far. Over three quarters (76.6 per cent) 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.
In France, Les Bleus’ encounter with Denmark was broadcast on TF1. Averaging an audience of 11.6 million viewers, the programme audience peaked in the closing minutes of the match as 14.56 million watched Kylian Mbappe score a late winner. This was the highest peak of the tournament in France so far, beating 14 million viewers during France’s opening match against Australia.
Portugal’s match with Uruguay 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. The coverage held an audience share of 69.5 per cent as the Seleção got their second win in as many games at the tournament. Over 80 per cent of the Portuguese TV landscape has now watched at least one minute of the tournament’s coverage.
The English-language coverage of the USA’s encounter with England was the most watched men’s football match on US television ever, with a peak audience of 19.65 million viewers on FOX. NBC-Universal’s Spanish-language coverage of the match on Telemundo was the second-most watched group stage match featuring a United States team in Spanish-language history. As Argentina and Mexico met in a crucial Group C tie, the Telemundo broadcast in the US was the most-watched group stage match in Spanish-language history in the country.
In Mexico, coverage of the same match delivered a national audience of 20.96 million viewers. was 67.9 per cent. The average audience in Canada for their make-or-break tie with Croatia was 4.33 million, with a share of 68.4 per cent.
In Argentina, the average audience for the two-time winners of the World Cup in their pivotal match with Mexico was 8.48 million; delivering an amazing audience share of 81.3 per cent.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 8 December, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.