Over Half of the Globe Watched 2018 World Cup

The month-long tournament held last summer in Russia attracted more than 50% of the world’s population in viewership numbers.

2018 World Cup
The final between France and Croatia was watched by 1.12 billion worldwide.

1 in 2 people on Earth watched others kick about a ball

An audit conducted by FIFA shows that a jaw-dropping 3.572 billion people followed all the football action of the 2018 World Cup Russia, according to online sportsbook news. Out of the total figure, 3.262 billion people watched at least one minute of coverage via in-home TVs, while 309.7 million kept track of the competition on digital platforms, in public viewing areas such as fan zones, bars and restaurants.

A whopping 1.12 billion people tuned in to watch the final itself – contested between France and Croatia – that was played on July 15 in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. Linear TV coverage amounted for 79% (884.37 million) of the overall viewership, whereas only 21% (231.82 million) of audience saw the game out-of-home and digitally.

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Philippe Le Floc’h – FIFA’s Chief Commercial Officer – said the main reasons behind the record-breaking viewership numbers is down to delivering on what the fans globally asked for. Thrilling, fluid game-play action coupled with the first-time use of the innovative VAR offered edge-of-the-seat drama that made for pure footballing entertainment.

“These figures really do support the claim that Russia 2018 was the best World Cup ever,” commented Floc’h. “We’re particularly pleased to see an increase in the average time viewers are engaging with matches, which shows that we are giving the fans what they want. That 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.”

Bet on the 2022 World Cup outright winners

France defeated Croatia 4-2 in the final last summer that saw them lift their second World Cup title, after clinching it for the first time two decades earlier on their home soil, as 1998 World Cup was held in France.

Although both of the countries that reached the 2018 final had great quality in their respective squads, Brazil were ranked as the main favourites for the title in Russia before the tournament commenced.

France were among the top five favourites, while Croatia were complete outsiders to reach the final. That’s why it’s worth placing your bets now with online sportsbooks in France on the 2022 World Cup outright winners, while the odds are still very favourable – France’s odds are 8.00 (7/1) to defend their title four years from now.

Brazil are once again deemed the top side to win the tournament 7.00 (6/1) and make it their sixth World Cup title in Qatar 2022. Four-time world champions Germany are second-favourites 8.00 (7/1), although they’re currently through a restructuring process following their early elimination from the 2018 World Cup.

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They’re followed by Spain 8.00 (7/1), while Argentina are the underdogs with chances of 11.00 (10/1). Belgium 13.00 (12/1), England 13.00 (12/1), Italy 17.00 (16/1), the Netherlands 17.00 (16/1), Portugal 17.00 (16/1) are all below the top favourites. 2018 runners-up Croatia are yet again on the fringes, with their odds being 41.00 (40/1).


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