'South African World Cup games garnered record TV viewers'

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Johannesburg, July 9(ANI): Figures have revealed that the FIFA World Cup matches involving hosts South Africa had garnered the largest television audience for a sporting event in the country's history.

"From the perspective of TV audiences, the World Cup has been an unqualified success," Sport24 quoted Brett Hobbs, business unit head at SA media company Carat, as saying.

"The opening match between South Africa and Mexico, with a combined SABC 1/SuperSport 3 viewership of 7.7 million, attracted over 20 percent more viewers than the 6.2 million local viewers who watched South Africa playing Brazil in the 2009 Confederations Cup," he added.

Hobbs further said that prior to the World Cup, the 2009 Confederations Cup was by far the greatest sports broadcast event in the country's history.

"If we look at the Cricket T20 World Cup in 2007, which was hosted in SA, TV only managed to peak at about 2.7 million viewers. This was for the match between SA and India, and unfortunately we were knocked out of the tournament at that stage," said Hobbs.

"A far more important event, not only compared to the T20 World Cup, but for our country, was the IRB Rugby World Cup 2007, even though we did not host it. The first SA game generated a collective local audience of about 1.9 million viewers and this gained momentum, naturally based on the Springboks success, right through to the final, which achieved 4.4 million viewers," he added. (ANI)

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