World Cup Not a Ratings Hit in China

Just 86 Million Watched Part of the First Match

By Published on .

SHANGHAI ( -- Only 34 million Chinese tuned in for the opening of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on June 11, although about 86 million Chinese watched at least part of the first match that night, between South Africa and Mexico, according to CSM Media Research, a small figure in a country with about 1.3 billion people.

Many of the matches have aired late at night, which is one reason for the lack of TV viewership. Also, China has participated in the world's largest soccer event only once, in 2002, and failed to qualify for this year's competition. Without a team in the World Cup, the tournament has not attracted nearly as many viewers as other sporting events. A record 842 million Chinese, for instance, tuned in for the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Source: Agence France Presse

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