World Cup: Ratings Peak for Germany's Late Win Over Algeria
Fully 85 percent of German viewers, more than 28 million people, watched as their squad squeaked into the quarterfinals, while 21 million French fans cheered Les Bleus to a 2-0 win over Nigeria.
World Cup fever has cooled somewhat in parts of Europe — Spain, Italy, Portugal and the U.K. — after several of the continent's top teams were eliminated in the first round of competition. But for squads still in the running, the hype continues to grow, and TV viewership along with it.
Monday night's second round matches, which featured both France and Germany, drew record local audiences. That both big Euro nations won their matches — qualifying for the quarterfinals, where they will face each other — bodes well for the tournament's next round.
Fully 28.2 million viewers, an astounding 85.1 percent of the viewing public, caught Germany's extra-time 2-1 victory over Algeria on German pubweb ZDF. It was the biggest German audience yet for the 2014 World Cup, but it will likely be topped by Friday's France vs. Germany match.
Also, 9.4 million French, 49.4 percent of the audience, caught the Germany vs. Algeria game, a huge figure for a match not featuring the French national team but largely explained by France's sizable ethnic Algerian population.
The French really came out in force to support Les Bleus, however, with a peak of 21.2 million viewers — around a third of the country's total population — cheering their team to its 2-0 win over Nigeria. An average of 16 million viewers, or just under 70 percent of the audience, saw the entire match on TF1.
The nail-biting Germany vs. Algeria match, which went down to the wire, was the most popular among European neutrals. In the U.K., 9.17 million, or just over half of the viewing public, caught the game on ITV. Just over 6 million, a 39 percent share, watched in Spain,another 6.3 million, or just over 32 percent, in Italy on Rai and 3.2 million Dutch saw their squad's arch-rivals advance after extra-time goals by Germany's Andre Schurrle and Mesut Ozil.