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FIFA World Cup breaks TV viewing records around the world

27 June 2014, Brussels – As the group stages in Brazil have come to an end, TV broadcasters are reflecting on an outstanding set of results from the first two weeks of the FIFA World Cup 2014. 

The group matches have set new TV records in a number of markets, from Belgium to the US. Sales of television advertising and subscriptions have also benefitted. 
For the first time, there is also evidence of “second screen” applications growing in popularity. 
12.2 million tweets were sent during Brazil’s win over Croatia and several thousand viewers are watching the games on broadcasters’ streaming services. But the real story around ‘social media’ has been the growth in public viewing, reinforcing the role of mass audience television as the original “social” media. 

The audited global figures will not be known for some time but broadcasters are already optimistic that the viewing numbers for the final on 13 July may approach or even surpass the 909 million who watched the Spain v Netherlands final in 2010. 


  • A record number of 42.9 million Brazilians tuned in to see their team’s win over Croatia. 81.3% of Croatians watched the game (1.5 million). 

  • Brazil-Croatia was also the most watched opening match in at least 12 years in the UK, with 11.2 million UK viewers (records going back to 2002).

  • The match Belgium – South Korea was the most watched football game in the history of Belgian television, reaching 3 million Flemish fans (82.8% of TV viewers) and 2.1 million of French speaking Belgians (82.1%).

  • Viewing records were reported also in the UK: a peak of 20 million (71% share) watched England v Uruguay, the highest peak audience on any channel since the 2012 London Olympics. 

  • 27.3 million (84.2%) viewers in Germany tuned in to watch Germany defeat the US. 

  • 15.3 million Italians (82%) watched the game between England and Italy.

  • Greek viewership peaked at 81.3% audience share for Greece’s win over Ivory Coast.

  • 68.5% of Spanish viewers (11.2 million) caught the game in which their national team was defeated by Holland.

  • The French victory over Honduras scored 56.3% audience share in France or 15.9 million viewers, amongst whom 1 million saw the game on digital platforms. 

  • A total of 11.5 million Dutch viewers (88.4%) watched their national team’s victory over Chili: 10.2 million at home and 1.3 million in public places.

  • Even in countries such as Sweden, where the national team didn’t qualify, the World Cup gathered up to 2.6 million viewers (48% audience share) for the game of Brazil against Mexico, also with impressive figures online: up to 130.077 streams on TV4 platform for the game of Spain against Chile.

  • The US’s first game drew more than 11 million viewers – the highest-rated football match ever shown on ESPN – and nearly 5 million on a Spanish-language network.

  • Even an 8 a.m. broadcast of Australia’s match against Chile didn’t discourage 2.3 million Australians from watching the game.  


PEPPTV, Platform for European Promotion of TV is an informal grouping of broadcasters’ trade bodies and sales houses, active at EU level and across EU Member States. 

Ross Biggam, ACT
GSM: +32 477 407 733 

Marta Sokol, ACT
GSM: +32 496 160 220
The Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT) represents the interests of leading commercial broadcasters in 37 European countries. The ACT member companies finance, produce, promote and distribute content and services benefiting millions of Europeans across all platforms.  ACT engages with the EU institutions to achieve a balanced and appropriate regulatory framework which will encourage further investment and growth in our sector. 
Katty Roberfroid, egta
Phone: +32 2 290 31 31

Anne-Laure Dreyfus, egta
Phone: +32 2 290 31 34

egta is the association representing television and radio sales houses, either independent from the channel or in-house, that market the advertising space of both private and public television and radio stations throughout Europe and beyond. egta fulfils different functions for its members in fields of activities as diversified as regulatory issues, audience measurement, sales methods, interactivity, cross-media, technical standards, new media etc. During its 35 years of existence, egta has become the reference centre for television & radio advertising in Europe. egta counts 128 members operating across 37 countries. 
Virginie Mary, SNPTV
Phone: + 33 (0)1 41 41 43 21 

SNPTV (The Syndicat National de la Publicité Télévisée) is a professional organisation of the French TV sales houses (TF1 Publicité, M6 Publicité, France Télévisions Publicité, Canal + Régie, TMC Régie, Next Régie, Lagardère Publicité, Be Viacom). SNPTV has for the main mission to collect the proofs, through collective studies, that the television is the undeniable media for the advertisers and their TV ads in terms of return on investment, construction of brand, fame, image …
Michel Van Der Voort, SPOT
Phone: +31 (0)20 – 40 44 271
GSM: +31 (0)6 – 156 35 876

SPOT is the Dutch marketing center for television advertising. SPOT provides information about television as a medium for advertising, offers services in support of advertisers, and represents the interests of television broadcasting advertising agencies. The following organizations participate in SPOT: Ster, Discovery Networks Benelux, ORN, RTL Nederland, FOX Channels Benelux, AT5, SBS Broadcasting, Disney Channels Benelux, BE VIACOM Benelux, Eurosport, Eredivisie Live and Sport1.
Simon Tunstill, Thinkbox
Phone: +44 (0)20 7630 2326

Thinkbox is the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, in all its forms – broadcast, on-demand and interactive. It works with the marketing community with a single ambition: to help advertisers get the best out of today’s TV. Its shareholders are Channel 4, ITV, Sky Media, Turner Media Innovations and UKTV, who together represent over 90% of commercial TV advertising revenue through their owned and partner TV channels.  Associate Members are RTL Group, Virgin Media, London Live, Norway’s SBS Discovery and Australia’s ThinkTV. Discovery Channel UK, UTV and STV also give direct financial support.
Andreas Kühner, Wirkstoff TV
Phone: +49-89-12 71 06 96, 
GSM: +49-160-586 40 03,

Wirkstoff TV is the initiative of the German and Austrian TV Sales houses for television and online video. The twelve partners of Wirkstoff TV are representing more than 95% of the German and Austrian TV advertising market.

ABMA is the Belgian Association for Audiovisual Media. For more information, please see