Full card for the World Cup in Qatar. This fall, six out of ten French people have followed at least one match, says Arcom in a study published on Monday. Result: increased advertising revenues for the channels.
The course of the France team, defeat in the final on penalties by Argentina, “generated larger audiences” than the 2018 edition, which it had won, notes the audiovisual regulator.
These data are of “particular interest,” says Arcom. The World Cup was “disputed for the first time at the end of autumn for climatic reasons” and its organization in Qatar had prompted “calls for a boycott”.
A predominantly male audience
These demands do not seem to have been heard. From November 20 to December 18, 59% of French people watched or listened to at least one match live. They were 8% to follow them in replay, according to a survey conducted online in January by Ifop for this study, on a sample of 2,102 French people over 15 years old.
The viewers are mainly men, young people, Ile-de-France, CSP +, underlines Arcom. But the audience became more feminized as the competition progressed. Women aged 15 and over represented 47.6% of the audience for the World Cup final in 2022, compared to 37.6% on average during the group stages.
Low boycott rate
A quarter (27%) of respondents say they have followed absolutely nothing of the World Cup, neither matches, nor summaries, nor reports. But it is above all out of “disinterest in competition” (78% of these respondents), much more than a desire to boycott (17% of these “non-consumers”, or 5% of the French). The boycott rate nevertheless reached 24% among those under 35 who did not use the competition.
All this was beneficial to the channels which broadcast the competition, the free TF1 (28 matches, including all those of the Blues) and the pay beIN Sports (all the matches). The Mondial allowed TF1 “to reach audience levels well above the average audience it usually achieves”, with, for example, an average audience share of 22.7% on the 4-7 p.m. November-December 2022, compared to 15.8% in 2021.
150 million euros in revenue
This had a “clearly positive effect […] in terms of advertising revenue. “TF1 alone totals 151.1 million euros in gross revenue across all of the competition (excluding sponsorship and digital), an increase of 37% compared to 2018 (110.5 million euros gross)” , specifies the study, which is based on data provided by the analyst Kantar.
Finally, the seven matches of the Blues were more watched than in 2018, with 15.7 million viewers on average compared to 13.7 million, according to figures from Médiamétrie cited by the study. As announced in December, the final even set a “historic audience record” for French TV (24.1 million people on TF1). An observation to put into perspective, however: Médiamétrie took into account the audience achieved in bars or hotels, which was not the case for the previous World Cups.