World Cup 2014: Tournament Sets Record Ratings Across Europe

Associated Press

Viewership figures top 80 percent in several European markets, with new all-time highs hit in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Final ratings figures for the 2014 World Cup haven't yet been tabulated, but it's clear that this year's tournament has been a record-breaker for several international territories.

Ratings and social media data aggregated by European advertising association EGTA on Monday showed viewership figures topped 80 percent in several countries for key matches during this year's Cup, with several territories scoring all-time highs.

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These included Germany, which posted an all-time viewership record of 34.65 million on Sunday night when the country's soccer squad beat Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final. In addition to those watching at home on public broadcaster ARD, an estimated 12 million more German fans caught the match at various outdoor public viewing events.

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For sheer viewership numbers, no European nation could beat Germany, but several set their own high-water marks this tournament. The Netherlands' semifinal loss, in a penalty kickoff, to Argentina drew 12.4 million viewers both at home and in public arenas. That amounted to an 89.3 percent share of the local audience and an all-time viewership record.

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In neighboring Belgium, the team's 2-1 extra-time win over Team USA in the second round drew 5.5 million viewers, or 85 percent of the TV audience in the tiny nation, making it the most-watched soccer game of all time there.

Soccer governing body FIFA has not yet released final viewing figures for the 2014 final, but given the trends for the tournament, it could match, or even beat, the record 909 million who watched the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands.

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