World Cup brings 'watershed' moment for football on US TV
Joseph O'Halloran | 30 June 2014
The world governing body for football, FIFA, has added further evidence for the huge broadcasting success of the World Cup, revealing more records broken during the group stages.

With the first two days of knockout games already providing even more drama on the pitch, FIFA research shows that all eight World Cup groups set viewing highs for at least one territory, underlining, it said, the breadth of football's popularity across the world.

FIFA described the previous two weeks as offering in TV terms a 'breakthrough' performance in the United States and "more impressive" progress in Europe, Asia and the rest of the Americas. Such "blockbuster" figures support FIFA's expectation of an increase in the global TV audience compared with the 3.2 billion reach of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.

"We believe the overall audience figures from the 2014 FIFA World Cup will show again that the World Cup is the most popular single-sporting event on the planet and that football is the world's number one sport," said director of FIFA TV, Niclas Ericson. "To see this overwhelming surge of interest in the United States is a true 'watershed' moment for the FIFA World Cup and for football. We have been thrilled to see the way the American fans are embracing the FIFA World Cup like never before. We have also seen some great numbers from Asia, Europe and other parts of the Americas, which gives us confidence that this World Cup will prove to be the most popular ever in terms of TV audiences," Ericson said.

Audiences have been massive from the start. The opening game between Brazil and Croatia attracted a combined audience of 47.4 million in the home country's broadcasters TV Globo and Bandeirantes. FIFA also revealed that in the US, the Portugal game was most watched football match ever in the country, higher than any of NBA Finals and higher than average of 2013 World Series 2013, namely 24.7 million combined for ESPN and Univision which has had a long history of satisfying the football needs of the huge Hispanic community.