World Cup Boosts Digital Players

This year’s World Cup may not have been the ratings smash on TV that U.S. broadcaster Fox expected (the championship’s ratings were down 32% compared to the final in 2014), but the quadrennial tournament delivered significant results online, particularly in streaming video.

To be sure, TV ratings still outpaced online viewing, but according to data from Conviva, the final game of the tournament smashed a number of streaming video records.

Conviva’s data shows that the final at one point averaged 9.12 million concurrent viewers. For comparison, the 2014 World Cup final peaked at 3.29 million concurrent viewers.

The World Cup final may be the most-watched live sports stream yet, as the previous record-holder for most concurrent streams was this year’s Super Bowl, which peaked with 5.5 million concurrent streams.

Looking at the data from the 2010, 2014 and 2018 World Cups, if the streaming viewership scales at the same rate, the 2022 World Cup could hit 25 million concurrent viewers. Conviva says there was just under 35 million video plays for the final.

Conviva measures streaming viewership globally, including consumers in North America, Europe, Asia, and elsewhere.

Hulu made the World Cup a significant part of a marketing push, letting consumers know that they could stream the games live through its Hulu with Live TV service. 

The company tells Digital News Daily that during the World Cup, signups for its live TV service were up more than 50% compared to the 90 days prior.

Hulu said that while the game was happening on Sunday, 69% of all live viewing on the service was fans checking out the match.

The interest in the final was also apparent according to data released by Twitter. The company said that the final between France and Croatia was the “most-tweeted match” of the tournament.

On the marketing front, Twitter said that the most tweeted brands during the tournament were Budweiser, Adidas, Coca-Cola, Nike and Apple, reflecting both official sponsors and TV advertisers.

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