A combined global audience of 1.12 billion watched the World Cup final between France and Croatia in July, FIFA said on Friday.
In total, FIFA said, a “combined 3.572 billion viewers – more than half of the global population aged four and over – tuned in to world football’s ultimate competition” for at least a minute, over the course of the World Cup’s from June 14 to July 15.
A survey it had commissioned by FIFA found that 3.04 billion viewers caught at least three minutes, a 10.9 percent increase on Brazil 2014, and 2.49 billion watched at least 30 minutes, or one-third of one match, up on 2014’s 1.95 billion.
FIFA calculated that the average live audience for each of the 64 matches was 191 million.
The survey estimated that 9.5 percent of that audience, or 309.7 million people, watched no coverage at home but “caught the action on digital platforms, in public viewing areas or in bars and restaurants.”
That proportion was higher for the final between France and Croatia. FIFA said 884.37 million viewers tuning in to traditional TV coverage and a further 231.82 million watching outside the home or digitally.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino had described the World Cup in Russia as the greatest of the modern era after a series of upsets and explosive games.
He later charged Qatar, hosts of the 2022 edition to go even further and deliver a bigger spectacle.