The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off in Russia on Thursday, with hundreds of millions of football fans across the globe glued to their television sets to witness the inaugural game of what is arguably the biggest TV event in the world.
In the days of smartphones, video streaming and binge-watching, sporting events are one of the last strongholds of linear, live television. According to a recent Ipsos poll, 62 percent of all people aware of the World Cup across 27 countries plan to watch parts of the tournament on TV, while just 1 in 4 people plan to watch the games online and even fewer (13 percent) plan to use a mobile device.
Often referred to as “the global game”, football is played and followed in all parts of the world and the quadrennial world cup is the pinnacle of the sport. According to FIFA, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil reached a global TV audience of 3.2 billion people, with the final between Germany and Argentina alone attracting more than 1 billion viewers (795 million in-home).