Reuters, Monday, June 2, 2014 1:15 PM
FIFA television director Niclas Ericson
thinks this year’s World Cup in Brazil will break global television records. In an interview with Reuters, Ericson says that a
combination of new technology and fan-friendly scheduling will drive viewership figures higher than during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
"We have some reasons to say the audience will
increase,” Ericson said, noting that for the first time, some games, including the July 13 final in Rio de Janeiro, will be broadcast in ultra high definition. He added that the scheduling would
also prove to be favorable for fans around the globe. “We think we have very good kick off times for Africa, the Middle East and Europe and will continue to grow the audience there,” he
said. “And as the World Cup is in the Americas, we'll have even better figures from there than ever before. Asia has grown very fast in term of viewers and rights fees and I believe that even on
paper before the event it looks extremely good to break the records we have."
That being said, Ericson declined to quote specific figures. According to FIFA research, 909.6 million people
watched at least one minute of Spain’s 1-0 overtime win against the Netherlands in 2010, while some 619.7 million people watched at least 20 consecutive minutes of the final. More than 3.2
billion people watched live coverage of the 2010 tournament for a minimum of one minute. The average official rating was 188.4 million for each match. The figures also claimed an average increase of
between three to eight percent from the 2006 World Cup in Germany. By comparison, an estimated 900 million viewers watched the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.
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