Record TV audience for opening World Cup match

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pretoria - The Opening Game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup between hosts South Africa and Mexico drew a record TV audience in recent history of sports viewing in South Africa, data made available to FIFA on Monday showed.

The average combined in-home audience for the 11 June match was 10,146,793 viewers on the two local channels SABC1 and SuperSport 3, according to data from the SABC. This combined audience is 39 percent higher than last year's highest sports TV audience which was also broadcast across both channels, namely the semi-final of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 (7.35 million) when Brazil knocked out hosts South Africa.

SABC1 recorded an average audience of 8,895,965 viewers during the match, which equates to a 76 percent market share, while SuperSport 3 registered an average audience of 1,250,828 viewers for an 11 percent market share.

The average combined in-home audience in South Africa for the day's second encounter, Uruguay and France, was almost half the opening game at 5,661,539.

Viewing figures were similarly robust for other countries whose data has been made available to FIFA over the weekend by the respective official broadcasters.

In Mexico, a combined average of nearly 19 percent of the population with access to television watched coverage of the opening game at home. This is 15 percent higher than the average audiences achieved for the three group stage matches at the 2006 World Cup and ranks inside the top five in-home television audiences for a football match achieved in recent years in Mexico.

Univision in the USA gained an average of 5.4 million viewers for their coverage of the opening game. This ranks among the top ten audiences for a football match in the USA in recent years and is twice the size of the Univision audience for the opening game of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

The highest confirmed in-home audience of the opening two days was achieved in China, where an average of nearly 24 million viewers watched the CCTV5 coverage of Greece vs Korea Republic.

An average of almost 1 in 5 people in Germany watched the England and USA match, the highest rating of all confirmed in-home audiences.

In addition, two games aired on ARD attracted an average of over half of all television viewers during the games.