"--IANS/EFE"
Sao Paulo, June 23 (IANS/EFE) World football governing body FIFA has said the 2014 World Cup in Brazil achieved new viewership records, highlighting the growing popularity of the competition and football around the world.

The opening game between Brazil and Croatia was watched by 42.9 million people on Globo TV, to become the most watched sporting event on the broadcaster this year, FIFA said, reports EFE.

Ghana and US match also recorded 11.1 million viewers on ESPN, the highest watched on the channel during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The England vs Italy game was watched by 14.2 million people in the UK on BBC1, while 12.8 million watched it in Italy through Rai 1, to record the highest viewership rates since the start of 2014.

Japan's 2-1 defeat against Cote d'Ivoire was also watched by 34.1 million people on Japanese broadcaster NHK, the double of the number who watches the normal sporting programmes.

These record-breaking figures show just how popular football and the FIFA World Cup is across the world, from Japan to Argentina, Niclas Ericson, director of FIFA TV said, according to the world football's governing body official website.

FIFA has agreed arrangements with more than 160 main Media Rights Licensees for TV around the world, meaning all global territories are able to access the 2014 World Cup.

In total, FIFA has approximately 700 licensees across TV, mobile and broadband and radio for the World Cup.

--IANS/EFE

abr/dg


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