beIN recorded more than 5.4 billion cumulative views throughout the month-long tournament on its flagship channel beIN SPORTS across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and 1.1 billion views on its official social media channels.
The highly anticipated final match that ended with Argentina becoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 winners with a 4-2 victory on penalties against France, was watched by a staggering 242.8 million viewers on beIN SPORTS’ free-to-air channel.
This figure equates to 68%, more than two-thirds, of the MENA’s total adult population and, when analyzed per country, results show viewership was particularly strong in Qatar where 93% of the adult population tuned in. In Morocco 91% of adults watched, followed by Lebanon (89%), Algeria (79%), and Egypt (72%). Meanwhile, on its official YouTube channel, the final match drew in a cumulative viewership of 25 million with viewership peaking at 4.44 million during the penalty shootouts.
The overall viewership across beIN’s 24-country coverage area across MENA for all matches is a 135% increase compared with the Qatar-based network’s broadcast of the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018. The final of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 attracted 88 million more viewers on beIN SPORTS than the final of the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018. Average TV viewership per match throughout the tournament saw a significant rise in 2022 reaching 80.6 million, compared to that of 36.2 million for 2018’s coverage.
Mohammad Al-Subaie, CEO of beIN – MENA, said: “It’s incredibly special for us that the first World Cup in the Middle East has broken regional viewership records with more than 5.4 billion cumulative views across the month-long tournament. This is evidence of the appetite for football and similar tournaments across the Arab World and we are honored to have been the exclusive rights holder. We are excited to be preparing for many more extensive broadcasts as we continue to inspire, educate, and entertain viewers across MENA.”
This year’s tournament – the first held in the Middle East – featured four teams from the Arab World: hosts Qatar, neighboring Saudi Arabia, and North African duo Tunisia and Morocco. Morocco’s Atlas Lions went the deepest, recording landmark victories over Spain and Portugal in the knock-out stages to become the first Arab – and first African – nation to reach a World Cup semi-final.
The figures from beIN, the exclusive FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 broadcast rights holder across 24 countries in MENA, show that aside from the final, the semi-final game that saw Morocco lose out on a spot in the final to France earned a record viewership of 186.1 million on beIN SPORTS. That equates to 52% percent of the adult population in MENA and Iran tuning in for the match. These figures also show that 99% of the adult population of Morocco watched the African nation’s historic match live on beIN SPORTS; 82% of the adult population in Qatar watched the match on beIN SPORTS, 78% in Algeria, 75% in Tunisia, 67% in Lebanon and 63% in KSA.
The semi-final decider between Argentina and Croatia drew in 166.3 million viewers across the region. The semi-final figures represent an increase in the quarter-finals where 151.8 million viewers tuned in to see Morocco’s Youssef En-Nesyri’s towering header eliminate a Portuguese team replete with global superstars including Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, and Ruben Dias.
beIN’s social media also posted record numbers with online video views reaching 1.1 billion compared to 121 million in 2018, and an even more impressive 5.5 billion impressions resulting in 400 million interactions (not including Snapchat), compared with 235 million impressions in 2018 that resulted in 40 million interactions.
As the Official Broadcast Partner, beIN SPORTS played a central role in showcasing the historic tournament. Offering audiences premium broadcast, analysis, and commentary of each game across its seven channels in four languages, beIN SPORTS’ viewing figures for the month-long tournament underline the unprecedented appetite of football fans in the region for this historic first staging in the Arab World.