FIFA: 2014 World Cup TV ratings break records around the world

FIFA: 2014 World Cup TV ratings break records around the world
Ecuadorian soccer team fans react to their team scoring against the Honduras team as they watch on the screen setup at the Word Cup FIFA Fan Fest during on Copacabana beach June 2 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

If it seems like everyone is talking about the World Cup, it's probably because more people than ever are watching it.

The first round of group matches held in Brazil broke television viewing records around the world, according to a news release from FIFA.

Record numbers were set in Brazil, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Argentina, France, the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, and yes, even the U.S., according to FIFA.

Almost 43 million watched Brazil and Croatia on Brazilian channel TV Globo, the highest sports broadcast of 2014, according to FIFA.

More than 11 million watched the USA beat Ghana on ESPN, which was a record high for ESPN's coverage of men's FIFA World Cup matches.

England and Italy's opener attracted more than 14 million on BBC1 in the UK and 12.8 million on RAI 1, the highest TV audiences in both countries in 2014, according to FIFA.

"These record-breaking figures show just how popular football and the FIFA World Cup are across the world, from Japan to Argentina," Niclas Ericson, director of FIFA TV, said in the release. "We are seeing highly encouraging growth in interest in markets such as the United States and Australia."

FIFA has agreed to arrangements with more than 160 main Media Rights Licensees for TV around the world, according to the release.   

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