How Many People Watched the Last World Cup on TV?

Sponsorship has become an increasingly important revenue source for sport around the world.  One of the primary benefits of sport sponsorship is the increased visibility that sponsors get, much of which comes from television.  I have been looking into estimates of television viewership recently, and came across a very interesting article in The Independent.  It seems that FIFA’s claim that a billion people watched the 2006 World Cup was, er, somewhat exaggerated.  An independent analysis of World Cup viewership found that the verifiable number was 260 million.  Only off by a factor of 4.

Where did this bogus number of one billion viewers come from? According to The Independent:

The company ultimately responsible for compiling World Cup TV data is Infront Sports and Media, based in Zug, Switzerland, and whose chief executive is Philippe Blatter, nephew of Fifa’s president, Sepp Blatter.

I am shocked!  Shocked I say!

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One Response to How Many People Watched the Last World Cup on TV?

  1. nickwatanabe says:

    What a surprise!

    I remember looking at this article in Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA_World_Cup#cite_note-2006coverage-0

    and seeing that FIFA claimed that it had a cumulative viewership during the 2006 World Cup of 26.29 billion people. Granted there are individuals like me who watched every single match in the tournament, however when I tried to trace the numbers down on FIFA’s site, the articles had gone missing.

    Wonder if FIFA and MLS have the same people doing the numbers of viewers.

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