Nielsen releases key 2010 FIFA World Cup TV audience data


According to the latest stats from Nielsen, it does appear that people have been taking time off work to watch the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The average TV audience for time-period 1pm-3.30pm has grown by over half a million people.
For the past six months the average audience for this time period was 5.1 million viewers - and it's grown to 5.8 million. According to SAARF TAMS, 1.1 million "day-time" viewers are watching soccer - excellent for "gees", but interesting in terms of costs to companies.

Here are the 10 most-watched games:


South Africa vs Uruguay

10 150 262


South Africa vs Mexico

10 064 326


Brazil vs Korea

7 301 500


Italy vs Paraguay

6 264 729


Spain vs Switzerland

5 610 619


Argentina vs Nigeria

5 529 627


Côte d'Ivoire vs Portugal

5 385 189


England vs USA

5 341 721


Serbia vs Ghana

5 291 560


Germany vs Australia

5 207 525

The highest percentage reach per country measured so far is 50.4%, or 28 915 million Italian fans watching their team come up against Paraguay on 14 June. Coming off a far larger population base, 10.2% reach of the US audience meant 29 730 million Americans watched the USA versus England game. With 34.8% of South African rooting for Bafana against Mexico, this result is not far behind South Korea's 47.4% reach (13 815 million) during their match against Argentina.
Interestingly, of all the games played to date, the France vs Uruguay match had the smallest local audience - only around 600 000 South Africans broke away from their post-SA-Mexico game euphoria to watch this game. All other games shown here have exceeded an audience of 3.5 million (SAARF TAMS). Nielsen confirmed on July 1st. That the World Cup Reached One-Third of All U.S. TV Viewers.

On a separate note, Nielsen issued information related to advertisers over the event.
In June 2010, Nielsen reported that  Nike “ambushed” its way into the World Cup conversation by producing a popular soccer-themed ad that spread virally across the online community. The company’s efforts in the days and weeks leading up to the World Cup pushed its competitor and official tournament partner Adidas into the background of online conversations.

Since the start of the opening kickoff, though, Adidas has reasserted itself at the top of World Cup brand dialogue. When looking at the top 10 official sponsors and their major competitors, a follow-up study by NM Incite, a Nielsen McKinsey Company, found that in the first two weeks of the tournament Adidas overtook Nike as the top brand. Adidas buzz accounted for 25.1% share of World Cup buzz online compared to 14.4% before the event. Nike, meanwhile, dropped from 30.2% to 19.4%.

Part of Adidas’ increased buzz levels were due to discussions around the controversial official ball of the World Cup – the Jabulani. For the week ending the 13th June, which included the first three days of the tournament, the ball accounted for 8% of all English-language messages related to the World Cup.

(Sponsors vs. Competitors)

Rank - Brand Type - % Share of Official and Competitor Buzz*
1 Adidas FIFA Partner 25.1%
2 Nike Non-affiliated Competitor 19.4%
3 Coca-Cola FIFA Partner 11.0%
4 Sony FIFA Partner 9.8%
5 Budweiser FIFA Partner 4.9%
6 Hyundai/Kia FIFA Partner 4.7%
7 Visa FIFA World Cup™ Sponsor 4.7%
8 McDonald’s FIFA World Cup™ Sponsor 4.2%
9 Pepsi Non-affiliated Competitor 2.8%
10 Carlsberg Non-affiliated Competitor 2.4%