Fifa World Cup 2018 is being hosted by Russia from 14 June – 15 July. Sony Pictures Networks India is the official broadcaster of the mega event, has announced the numbers Indian viewers watching World Cup 2018 on TV and online.

These statistics are drawn from the group stage of the tournament, which had 48 matches and ended on 28 June. Even the starting stage of the tournament received 153.2 million viewers in the nation. 123.2 million viewers watched the World Cup on TV while more than 30 million viewers streamed it online.  The 48- group stage matches were also watched live by 83.9 million viewers across on the sports channels.

Viewership statistics

Here comes the world Cup viewership statistics that will certainly send out a positive message for Indian football lovers.

153.2 million total viewers:

This is a new record for the World Cup for the group stage. For the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, viewers only crossed 50 million by this stage. This can be attributed to Russia being a more convenient time zone for the Indian viewer: a majority of the group stage matches started at 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm IST.

123.2 million viewers on TV and 30 million live streams:

These numbers reaffirm the growth of internet consumption in the country with online viewers being 20% of the total.

83.9 million LIVE viewers on TV Sports Channels:

The rest of the viewers are counted among those who watched the various reruns or highlights of the exciting games.

51.5 million rural viewers:

Perhaps the most surprising and encouraging number is this figure, which indicates that rural India has also taken to the football pitch on screen. This constitutes 42% of the total TV viewership.

47% of Viewers are Female:

Another positive metric, it indicates that women and girls are joining in the football fever. Hopefully, more of them will join in on the field. Also, we have no clue how this metric is measured.

Highest markets for live matches:

West Bengal – 17.5 million
Kerala – 15.8 million
North East – 9.3 million
Maharashtra/Goa – 9 million

Based on the regional commentary

The newest trend of regional language commentary has been captivating sports fans in the country. The local language feeds Hindi, Malayalam, Bengali, Tamil, and Telugu. Therefore it contributed to 47% of the overall viewership.

FIFA vs IPL

Although the viewership figures the ongoing World Cup is a relatively smaller figure when compared to the 731.3 million impressions only on television for Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018. The numbers are only expected to grow during the knockout stages of the tournament, which has been unpredictable, to say the least