The French team made a successful debut at the 2022 World Cup: more than 12.5 million viewers followed Tuesday from 8 p.m. on TF1 its big victory against Australia (4-1), according to figures from Médiamétrie published Wednesday, November 23.
While the World Cup in Qatar had been the subject of boycott calls before its start, this match achieved the “best audience since June 2021 for all programs and all channels combined”, welcomed TF1.
This number of viewers is comparable to that of the first match of the Blues at the 2018 World Cup, again against Australia (12.6 million), which took place on a Saturday noon.
Over 5 million viewers for the opening game
At the time, however, viewers of the entry into the running of the Blues represented a larger share of all those watching television at that time (69% audience share, against 48.1% for Tuesday’s game).
TF1 is the only channel in France to broadcast the World Cup unencrypted, also broadcast on beIN Sports for a fee. Sunday, November 20, the opening match between the host country – Qatar – and Ecuador, broadcast at 5 p.m., had attracted more than 5 million viewers.
These audience scores seem to show that the calls for a boycott of which the competition was the object did not have a notable impact. Since the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar in December 2010, the competition has sparked many controversies on subjects such as respect for human rights and the protection of the environment.