DUBAI: BeIN Sports has released initial viewing numbers for its World Cup coverage, which reveals a 113 percent increase when compared to the Qatar-based network’s coverage at Russia four years ago.
The official opening ceremony was watched by 111.7 million viewers across the Middle East and North Africa region, according to data from research company Ipsos.
More than 900 million fans then tuned in to see the first 16 group stage matches, with 99.2 million viewers watching the opening match between Qatar and Ecuador, an increase of 86 percent compared to the opener at Russia 2018.
Mohammad Al-Subaie, CEO of beIN MENA, said: “We are not surprised that the first World Cup in the Middle East is shattering regional viewership records, with more than 1 billion cumulative views of the opening ceremony and first 16 matches.”
Saudi Arabia drew a total of 99.3 million viewers for their unforgettable victory against Argentina.
In addition to live TV, sports fans in the region also turned to social media channels to catch up on the action.
BeIN Sports’ social media content published between Nov. 20 and 27 generated 1.7 billion impressions; some 235 million were generated throughout the previous World Cup.
Video was the most popular content format with such posts being viewed more than 330 million times.
Al-Subaie added: “Football fans across the Arab world are some of the most passionate, and we are delighted to be screening the tournament across the region as we continue to inspire, educate, and entertain as the tournament’s official broadcaster in MENA.”