More than 12 million viewers watched the French team’s first match against Australia on Tuesday 22 November. Either the best audience of the year for TF1. Enough to give food for thought to the anti-boycott of the World Cup in Qatar, so criticized in terms of human rights and for its ecological nonsense.
However, the figures must be analysed. In 2018, in Russia, the first match of the Blues, again against the Australian Socceroos, had gathered 12.59 million viewers. An equivalent score in number of viewers but much more powerful in market share (69% in 2018, against 48.1% in 2022), the most convincing element of comparison given the different boxes of the two programs and the different broadcast period.
Analyze over the long term
“You have to be careful when comparing slots that are not the same”, recalls in this regard Nicolas Hourcade, sociologist specializing in supporterism. “The 2022 figures are certainly inflated because new comparators come into play, such as people watching matches in bars”, explains the specialist. The measurement of audiences away from home (secondary residence, hotels, bars, airports, train, bus, etc.) was implemented by Médiamétrie in 2020, so the comparison with previous World Cups is biased.
“People can be disgusted by the conditions in which the competition is taking place and will not follow it continuously, but reserve the important matches for themselves. » Thus, according to Nicolas Hourcade, it will be interesting to analyze the figures for the final round, with the knockout matches, to see if a quarter or a semi-final where the Blues do not play corresponds to usual audiences or not.