World Cup TV Ratings : England most watched in Sub-Saharan Africa

Presence of Premier League players gives England the viewership edge in the World Cup quarters

England’s quarter-final defeat of Sweden on Saturday July 7 was the most watched quarter-final game in Sub-Saharan Africa according to a GeoPoll survey.

At least 33% of TV audiences tuned in to see the Three Lions score twice with headers from Harry Maguire and Dele Alli to knock out the Scadinavian nation.

GeoPoll attributes this high rating to the presence of Barclays Premier League players in the England squad. All 23 players in the British nation’s roster play in the highly popular league. A CNN report in 2016 estimated that around 276 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa tune in to watch the Premier League every year.

The second most watched last-eight tie was between Brazil and Belgium, hitting an average 30% of all TV audiences. The same average was mustered in the France versus Uruguay match.

In both games, the South American nations succumbed to the might of Europe. This may have been particularly sad for fans of Brazil, as a pre-World Cup GeoPoll survey had indicated that a majority of football enthusiasts from Sub-Saharan Africa — 22% in total –predicted the Samba Boys would lift the cup.

The least watched quarter final was the game involving hosts Russia and dark horses Croatia, which ended in a 2-2 draw and needed a penalty shootout to determine the winner. An average of around 26% of TV viewers in the six countries polled for the survey watched the Balkan state end Russia’s World Cup journey.

In terms of TV Channels, DSTV owned Supersport performed particularly well by having highest audience shares in Ghana and Nigeria. It also went toe to toe with the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) in Uganda.

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In Kenya, NTV — which has been enjoying a ratings boost during the World Cup season despite being hit by a flurry of departures — maintained the highest audience share of all TV broadcasters airing the last-eight ties.

The Nation Media Group owned broadcast station has survived the fury that had erupted during the start of the World Cup after fans bemoaned their limited World Cup TV rights that meant high profile games, such as all of Brazil’s group stage games, were not aired.¬†Maintaining a high rating during the World Cup could be attributed to the fact that NTV offered the tournament’s games on free to air as against the pay TV subscription model favoured by other World Cup broadcasters in Kenya.

GeoPoll’s daily monitoring of TV viewership habits during the World Cup is being conducted in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

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