Blanket media coverage, never-ending hype and, for Europe, favorable kick-off times are helping television ratings for this year’s soccer World Cup in Brazil, as first round matches draw huge audiences across old Europe.
An average of 26.36 million Germans watched their squad destroy Portugal in their opening World Cup match, a massive 81.8 percent share for public broadcaster ARD.
The rating was a record for German TV so far this tournament and dwarfs the 15.87 million who caught the opening night match between hosts Brazil vs. Croatia. It is a slight dip, however, from the 27.91 million viewers who watched their side defeat Australia in the first round match for the 2010 World Cup.
The figures were even more impressive among the 14-49 demographic, of which 11 million viewers, an astounding 86.4 percent, caught the game. Many held on for the night’s later matches, with 9.48 million watching Iran and Nigeria draw 0-0 and a still-respectable 3.61 million, or 47.5 percent of the audience, staying up past midnight to see the USA defeat Ghana 2-1.
Neutrals across Europe also chose Germany vs. Portugal in impressive numbers. In the U.K., viewership on ITV peaked at 7.2 million, a 38 percent share, while 3.28 million Spanish viewers, or 30.6 percent of the audience, caught the match on the Cuatro network.