FIFA Confederations Cup grows in statue and TV numbers

The FIFA Confederations Cup appears more popular than ever. Photo: Neymar kisses the Confederations Cup trophy, Associated Press

WASHINGTON, July 5, 2013 — The FIFA Confederations Cup is more popular than ever. What started as the King Fahd Cup in 1992 and hosted by Saudi Arabia has now become a prestigious tournament with a massive television audience worldwide. The event, which pits the winners of FIFA’s six confederations and two other teams, is a vital pre-rehearsal for the World Cup.

It was once a biennial event, but since 2005 it has been played every four years.

According to FIFA, soccer’s governing body, this year’s event in Brazil was the most popular Confederations Cup on record in broadcast terms.

The average television audience for the games across key markets was more than 50 per cent higher than in 2009.

Over 69.3 million tuned in to the 2013 final between Brazil and Spain across ten key markets such as Germany, France, the United States and China, more than 11 million higher than the audience for the final of the 2009 tournament in South Africa in those markets.

Over 42 million Brazilians watched their team down world champions Spain 3-0  — nearly 50 per cent more than the Brazilian audience for the final of the 2010 World Cup South Africa  =— with 36.7 million turning on coverage on TV Globo, and Bandeirantes drawing in a further 5.3 million viewers.

In Spain, 10.7 million enjoyed the game on Telecinco, the biggest audience for any program on Spanish television this year and an amazing result, given the late-night timing of the broadcast in Spain.

The next event will be held in Russia in 2017.

John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times for 20 years. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996.

Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon or email

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John Haydon

John Haydon has covered soccer for The Washington Times for two decades. He has reported on international soccer events in Germany, South Korea and Spain. John hails from Birmingham, England and has lived in the Washington D.C. region for over twenty years.  

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