The FIFA World Cup 2018 final between France and Croatia set the record for being the most viewed international football match ever in India. In a statement, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) said that the final clash garnered a total 51.2 million viewers, the highest for any World Cup match in history. The month-long tournament itself set the maximum viewership record in India for any World Cup tournament, with a cumulative reach of 254 million viewers.
The report adds that over 110.5 million viewers watched the live footballing action of the 64 matches in the World Cup across India. Among states, West Bengal recorded the most reach with 22.2 million viewers, followed by Kerala which recorded 17.8 million viewers.
The broadcast of Live football matches in local languages – Hindi, Malayalam, Bengali, Tamil, and Telugu – were sampled by 70.7 million viewers, which amounts to 66 percent of the overall tournament reach. The report adds that a total of 47 percent female audience contributed to the reach.
The World Cup 2018 trophy was lifted by coach Didier Deschamps-led France, as they beat Croatia 4-2 in the final at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15, 2018. As France won their first World Cup trophy after 1998, Deschamps became only the third individual to lift the title as a player and a coach, after Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer.