More than 3.5 billion people watched the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia on TV at home, either on home televisions or on digital platforms, FIFA revealed on Friday.
The FIFA World Cup, which ran from June 14 to July 15 this year, has attracted a record combined 3.572 billion viewers, according to audience data for official broadcast coverage of the tournament, reports Xinhua news agency.
The global in-home TV audience watching at least one minute of coverage totalled 3.262 billion. A further estimated 309.7 million people caught the action on digital platforms, in public viewing areas or in bars and restaurants.
The final between France and Croatia on July 15 attracted a combined global audience of 1.12 billion for at least one-minute of coverage, comprising 884.37 million viewers to linear TV coverage and a further 231.82 million out-of-home and digital-only viewers.
The report, based on scheduling and audience data gathered from official television auditing agencies in markets around the world, also revealed that viewers watching on TV at home engaged with the coverage for longer than in previous FIFA World Cups.
The number of viewers following at least three minutes of the 2018 World Cup was 3.04 billion, a 10.9% increase on the 2014 edition in Brazil. The audience watching for at least 30 minutes also went up from 1.95 billion in 2014 to 2.49 billion this year.
"We're particularly pleased to see an increase in the average time viewers are engaging with matches, which shows that we are giving the fans what they want," said FIFA's Chief Commercial Officer Philippe Le Floc'h.
"The fact that half the world's population watched the FIFA World Cup reflects not just the high quality of our award-winning live coverage, but also that fans everywhere are insatiable for world-class football," Le Floc'h added.