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Out-of-home viewing boosts FOX Sports' World Cup audience by 21%

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Episode 14: A Quantum of Technology

Out-of-home viewing boosts FOX Sports' World Cup audience by 21%

Out-of-home viewership gave FOX Sports a 21% boost in its audience for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Key demographics boosted those figures, particularly during weekday match windows.

21st Century Fox Inc.'s FOX (US) and FOX Sports 1 (US) combined to deliver an average audience of 2.4 millon viewers ages 6+ for the 64-game tournament. That number jumped 21% to 2.9 million when including viewers watching at someone else's house, a bar, hotel or gym, among other out-of-home locations, FOX Sports said, citing data from Nielsen Holdings PLC.

FOX Sports benefited from enhanced viewing across several demographics, notably millennials, as adults and males ages 18 to 34, 18 to 49 and 25 to 54 all recorded out-of-home gains of at least 20%, according to Nielsen figures. FOX Sports saw the biggest boost among adults ages 18 to 34. When including out-of-home viewers, the audience in this demographic jumped 28% to 692,000 total viewers, from 541,000 viewers in their homes.

Adults ages 18 to 49 and males 18 to 34 each registered 24% out-of-home advances. The former climbed to 1.5 million viewers from 1.2 million when the out-of-home locations were considered, while the latter improved to 458,000 from 369,000.

The tournament schedule lent itself to more out-of-home viewing from Monday to Friday. The six- to eight-hour time difference between Russian soccer venues and the U.S. east coast pushed the matches into morning and afternoon time slots in the U.S. Weekday afternoon matches netted a 30% boost above traditional residential watching, trailed by a 22% increase during weekday morning matches. On weekends, the morning windows saw a 12% out-of-home boost, while the afternoon sessions increased by 20%.

In terms of venues, the most common location for out-of-home viewing was "someone else's home" at 27.3%, according to the FOX Sports-commissioned study. Bars or restaurants accounted for 25.6% of out-of-home viewership, and "at work" was third at 15.9%.

Out-of-home viewers also watched from a hotel/motel (7%), the gym/health club (5.9%), the doctor's office or other waiting room/lobby (3.5%), the airport (3.3%), or some other location (11.5%).

The tournament's semifinal matches benefited greatly from out-of-home viewing. FOX Sports got a 51% boost to its Croatia-England coverage and a 46% increase to its France-Belgium coverage among adults 18 to 34 on July 11 and July 10.