Updated: December 22, 2018 10:32:11 am
A combined 3.572 billion viewers tuned in to watch the 2018 World Cup in Russia, said FIFA in a statement on Friday. The football world body said that 1.12 billion tuned in to watch the final between eventual champions France and Croatia. The figures, FIFA said, were the “key findings of a comprehensive audit of consolidated final audience data.”
FIFA also said that the 2018 World Cup had higher viewer retention than the 2014 edition. “The number of viewers catching at least three minutes of the 2018 edition was 3.04 billion, a 10.9 per cent increase on Brazil 2014. Meanwhile, the audience watching for at least 30 minutes was 2.49 billion, way up on 2014’s 1.95 billion viewers,” it said.
The consolidated audience figures were compiled by the Publicis Media Sport & Entertainment (PMSE) on behalf of FIFA. The report further stated that the total viewership included 309.7 million people who followed matches through digital platforms. 231.82 million out of home and digital viewers tuned in for the final.
France beat Croatia in the final to lift their second World Cup title. This was the fourth consecutive time that a European team lifted the trophy.
Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe scored for France while Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Perisic found the back of the net for Croatia. Mandzukic also scored an own goal in the match as France won 4-2. It was the highest scoring final since 1966.
The last minutes of the final, held at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, was interrupted by a pitch invasion by Russian protest punk rock group Pussy Riot. The group, one of the few anti-establishment voices in the country, said that they did it so as to demand the release of political prisoners, the end for illegal detentions at political rallies, stopping the policing of people’s political views on social media and for more open political competition.
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