beIN Sports‘ coverage of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has garnered more than a billion accumulated views throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for the opening ceremony and first round of group stage matches.
The overall amount of viewers who tuned in to watch the first 16 group stage games surpassed 900 million, with 99.2 million watching the opening match between Ecuador and hosts Qatar – a boost of 86% over the opening match of Russia 2018.
As per Ipsos data, 111.7 million adults in MENA viewed the opening ceremony. This depicted 31% of the cumulative adult population throughout beIN’s 24-country coverage area, a nearly six-fold rise from the previous World Cup.
Iran, one of five MENA countries vying in the World Cup, began their campaign with a loss to England, which was witnessed by more than 80.7 million people, including 60% of Iran’s adult population. The shocking victory of Saudi Arabia over Argentina drew 99.3 million viewers.
Tunisia’s impasse with Denmark drew a regional viewership of 63.4 million, which include 75% of the nation’s adult population. Morocco opened their campaign with a goalless draw against 2018 finalists Croatia in front of 57.2 million fans.
Regarding social media active participation, beIN reported that its focus on issues related between November 20 and 27 generated 1.7 billion impressions – more than seven times the 235 million produced throughout Russia in 2018. The broadcaster’s video posts were viewed over 330 million times, nearly tripling the total number of views generated throughout the entire month of the 2018 tournament (121 million).
Mohammed Al-Subaie, Chief Executive 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 one billion cumulative views of the opening ceremony and first 16 matches. Football fans across the Arab World are some of the most passionate in the world, 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.”
In other World Cup viewership news, the United States 1-0 win over Iran to advance to the round of 16 drew an average audience of 12 million on the US network, Fox. The audience peaked at around 15.6 million people. With nearly one million viewers on digital platforms, it was also the most-streamed World Cup match in Fox Sports history.