The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 created new records with not just Argentina picking up the cup after more than three decades, but also in terms of the viewership of international football games touching a new high. 32 million viewers tuned in to JioCinema on Sunday to watch the final match between Argentina and France.
A statement by Viacom18 Sports says over 110 million viewers consumed the content on digital, making India one of the highest digital viewership markets for the FIFA World Cup.
In November 2022, JioCinema, which is a video on-demand and over-the-top streaming service, owned by Viacom18 was one of the most downloaded free apps on android and iOS app stores.
“We promised to give consumers easy access to the world-class presentation of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and on the back of that, the tournament became the most-watched global sports event on digital where India has not participated,” said Viacom18 Sports CEO Anil Jayaraj.
Earlier this year, Viacom18 had announced its decision to move all sporting properties from its other digital offering VOOT to JioCinema. The Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 was the first live sports event that was streamed on the platform after the announcement.
The company plans to make JioCinema the streaming destination for live sports. The next crowd puller for the streamer could be IPL 2023. Earlier this year, Viacom18 shelled out Rs 23,758 crore for Package B and Package C that club all digital rights together for the IPL 2023-2027 cycle. Meanwhile, on December 23, the IPL player auction will be live streamed on JioCinema with six language options.
The TV viewership numbers for the finals are not yet available. It would be interesting to see if it beats the reach of TV viewership of the finals in the last season. In 2018, Sony Pictures Networks India said that the overall reach of the final match on TV was 42.7 million.