Reuters: Japan, China and South Korea fuelled the surge in the appetite for Asian football, viewership data of the 2011 Asian Cup revealed on Tuesday.
The tournament’s viewership in Japan grew from 131 million in the previous edition to nearly 210 million, while the number improved from 29.5 million to 41 million in South Korea.
The total viewership in China, despite their national team’s early exit, was 156.6 million, according to a report collated by the CSM Media Research.
Japanese and Koreans made up just over half of the 63 million viewers who watched the semi-final between the two traditional Asian football rivals.
The final, in which Japan beat Australia 1-0, was the second most watched match of the tournament with 54.4 million viewers.
“The AFC Asian Cup 2011 delivered top class football and the significant television viewership achieved reaffirms its position as the top sporting event in Asia,” said Pierre Kakhia, president of World Sport Group (West Asia), the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) marketing and media partner.
“Asian football fans are incredibly passionate about their national teams and we are delighted to have delivered record multiplatform and live coverage for the fans as well as our marketing and broadcast partners across the Asia-Pacific region and most of the world.”