East goes World Cup crazy

Tournament attracts record television ratings in Japan and Korea.

  • E-Mail
By  Marcus Webb Published  June 18, 2002

They may not be the most famous of footballing nations, but World Cup hosts Japan and South Korea have wholeheartedly embraced the sport, and the nations’ delirium is already reflected in record TV ratings.

New worldwide viewing figures show ratings for Japan's second match against Russia were the highest for any programme in three decades with 62.3 million viewers.

More than 50% of Japan's TV-owning population tuned in to watch live coverage of the game, according to figures complied by the media buying agency Zenith Media.

Japanese viewers are not just supporting the home side. England's 1-0 defeat of Argentina attracted nearly 30 million viewers and a 51% share of the viewing, the highest rating achieved so far by a match not featuring the home nation.

It is not just Japanese TV audiences that have been captured by the tournament, co-hosts Korea have also come down with a bad case of football fever. South Korea's first match against Poland pulled in an average audience of 9.5 million, a 45.8% share of the TV-owning population and well over double the viewing figures of any of the matches in the 1998 World Cup.

Audience figures are expected to rise again today as Korea play Italy and Japan take on Turkey.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code