15 June 2010
The opening match of the 2010 Fifa World Cup between hosts South Africa and Mexico drew a record South African TV audience. The tournament is also getting good viewership ratings in North and South America, Europe and China.
According to Fifa, the average combined in-home audience for the 11 June match was 10 146 793 viewers on the two local channels SABC 1 and SuperSport 3, according to data from the SABC.
This combined audience is 39% higher than last year’s highest sports TV audience which was also broadcast across both channels – the semi-final of the Fifa Confederations Cup 2009 (7.35-million), when Brazil knocked out hosts South Africa.
SABC 1 recorded an average audience of 8 895 965 viewers during the match, which equates to a 76% audience share, while SuperSport 3 registered an average audience of 1 250 828 viewers for an 11% 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.
Top five in Mexico
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% of the population with access to television watched coverage of the opening game at home.
This is 15% 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 10 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.
Huge Chinese audience
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.