Despite being plagued by injuries that knocked out some key players in past weeks, France entered the World Cup with a bang on Tuesday — and scored a ratings victory for TF1 at the same time. At home, an average 12.53 million viewers tuned in from 8 PM local time to watch Les Bleus defeat Australia’s Socceroos 4-1.
That gave the leading broadcaster, and all of French television, the biggest audience of the year and the best since June 2021. Market share averaged 48.1%. BeIn Sport, which is also showing the matches, does not communicate viewing figures.
World Cup Ratings: USA Vs. Wales Draws Nearly 12M Viewers For Fox & Telemundo
The strong turnout is despite earlier polls which indicated that 54% of French people said they would not be watching the tournament due to the controversy surrounding host country Qatar. Several major cities and towns are not showing matches on giant outdoor screens or organizing fan zones as would normally be custom.
Tuesday night’s audience score is not far off France’s last tournament entry back in 2018 (which was also played against Australia). At the time, and on a Saturday afternoon, TF1 nabbed its best numbers of the year to that point with an average 12.6 million viewers and a 69% share.
In other fun facts for the reigning World Cup champions, Olivier Giroud marked two goals on Tuesday night, to tie France’s all-time record scorer, Thierry Henry, at 51.
Meanwhile, after Saudi Arabia’s stunning 2-1 victory over Argentina on Tuesday, the Gulf country has declared today a national holiday.
Today’s matches include Morocco v Croatia, Germany v Japan, Spain v Costa Rica and Belgium v Canada. France next boots up on Saturday against Denmark.
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