According to the Sony Six network — which has exclusive India broadcast rights for the event — the first 27 matches of the World Cup reached 34.65 million viewers. The games are being shown on the network’s two sports outlets Sony Six and Sony Aath. Given the time difference, the first match of the day is aired here live from Brazil from 9.30 p.m. on wards with subsequent matches airing well after midnight.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup, which took place in South Africa, reached a combined total of 44.9 million viewers in India, according to a FIFA television audience report. By contrast, this year’s recently concluded T20 World Cup cricket event drew a total of 120 million viewers.
But industry estimates here reckon the 2014 FIFA World Cup could reach 100 million viewers, more than double from 2010.
A recent study on football viewership in India by TAMSports, the sports television arm of ratings agency TAM Media Research, listed football as the third most watched sport in India, after cricket and freestyle wrestling. The report added that between 2005 and 2009, football viewership in India rose by 60 percent.
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