The origins of FIFA World Cup and TV
The first FIFA World Cup match broadcasted on TV in 1954 was in black and white, even though the first color TV was made in 1950.
In the finals of FIFA World Cup England in 1954, West Germany won 3-2 against Hungary.
No one would expect by 2018, FIFA World Cup will become the “Biggest Game on Earth” with viewership reaching an astronomical 1.1 billion people worldwide in the finals between France and Croatia.
FIFA World Cup in Russia was the most-watched event in the history of the world through the lens of TV. The audit shows 3.57 billion people or more than half the world watched the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™
Whatever happened during the last 75 years which cause such explosive growth and success for FIFA World Cup today?
Evolution of TV
The advent of TV and broadcasting plays an integral part in major world events.
Technological developments in the last 100 years contribute greatly to changes in lifestyle, social and economic trends.
The modern TV of today is a flat panel 4K smart TV that could be connected online to apps with video on demand. The smart TV also has smart features such as a voice assistant with artificial intelligence to execute the desired commands.
It’s quite hard to imagine how far the TV has come from the days of vacuum tubes and rabbit ears. TV has a significant impact on all mankind, we view the world through the lens of TV.
Our lifestyle and the way we perceive the world are shaped by the kind of content and information presented to us on the TV.
Since the last 95 years, not only has the shape and form factor of TV changed, the ways that people are using it for information has also evolved with rapid advancement in communications.
The infographics above provide quick and clear insight into the major milestones in the evolution of TV.
We can see what’s happening in different parts of the world in real-time. It connects people in different countries across cultures and changes our perceptions in ways we don’t always understand.
The Game Changer for FIFA World Cup
When TV entered the Golden Age in the 1950s, more than 50% of American households owned a TV.
By 1959 it went up to 120 million. Growth was so fast that by 1959, ownership skyrocketed to 89% of American households. Throughout the 60s to 80s, TV growth went at an explosive rate worldwide.
The big break came for TV in 1962 when AT&T launches Telstar, the first satellite to make TV broadcast truly global.
1966 is the year when football went global. The world witnessed its first-ever live telecast of the FIFA World Cup in England worldwide.
This proved to be the game-changer for football and TV. FIFA World Cup reached a major milestone transcending beyond ethnic, cultural, and ideological barriers.
Never before in history was it possible for a major football event to reach large audiences worldwide in real-time. England beat West Germany 4-2 in the finals in their first-ever and the only title won in World Cup history.
Football fans with a TV set can enjoy the game at the comfort of their home, or in a bar with friends, whichever part of the world they are.
Not only does it draw millions of football fans, but the FIFA World Cup also attracted the attention of major corporations to sponsor the event held every 4 years.
Sponsors over the years
In the 1950s, there was hardly any sponsorship or marketing activity, nor was there any concept of paying FIFA for the privilege of displaying brands to the growing audience.
In 1974, the concept of matching brands with sports events was born, and sponsorship became the monetizing machine for FIFA.
Coca-Cola became the biggest and most ardent sponsor of the FIFA World Cup in 1978.
Not only did Coca-Cola come on board, but it had a powerful effect in attracting many big companies to join FIFA as sponsors.
Over the years, leading brands like Adidas, Canon, Philips, Gillette, MacDonald’s, Mastercard signed lucrative deals with FIFA.
In recent years, billion-dollar companies like Hisense, Wanda, Qatar Airways, and Visa have also joined in the fray of primary sponsors.
This led FIFA World Cup to become the biggest branding platform as a global sporting event.
Without the power of the television delivering live telecasts to millions of homes worldwide, FIFA World Cup is unlikely to grow into the marketing magnet it is today.
TV continues to grow
TV ownership was only about 15 million mainly in the US in 1950. This figure is only 5% of the entire US population.
TV viewership escalated globally from 1966 as TV ownership exploded from the 70s to the 00s.
In 1995, the TV goes online when Victoria Secret broadcast its first fashion show on the web.
From 2005 onwards, YouTube and Netflix started the trend of streaming TV content online.
By 2009, all TV that’s being produced went “Digital” as TV transmission signals are encoded digitally.
This enables Digital TV to come in higher definitions and resolutions with several features the analog TV can’t provide.
During this time (2009-2022), the pace of internet penetration gathers steam worldwide, and major manufacturers began mass production of Smart TVs and smartphones.
Smart TVs are Digital TV with software allowing them to access apps like Netflix and YouTube from the Internet on top of the TV channels from TV broadcasts.
Changing Trends in TV viewership today
TV was the main medium for marketing, entertainment, news, and information globally, up till the time when the internet and smartphones started to gain traction.
There is a rising trend of people engaging in a second device like smartphone while watching the TV in a recent survey conducted.
Millennials are more likely to be spending more time on their smartphones and social media apps, which contributes to lower TV viewership.
Increasingly, there is also a rising trend in the use of streaming apps like Netflix when watching smart TVs.
FIFA World Cup: “Biggest Game on Earth”?
While we can’t predict the future TV is heading, if there is anything that we can be sure of, it’s the popularity of the FIFA World Cup since its inception.
World Cup has become the single most-watched TV event in the history of the world. It continues to draw crowds back to the TV screen whenever it’s held.
It’s the television, after all, which has made FIFA World Cup the success it is today.
And FIFA will not lose sight of the important role TV will continue to play, in casting the magic of its matches to millions across the world.
In line with staying ahead of technology, the 2018 FIFA World Cup marked the first time all 64 matches were recorded and produced in 4K UHD with HDR (High Dynamic Range).
FIFA came out with all guns blazing for Russia 2018 where all matches were screened by a whooping 37 cameras.
Mission To design the Best TV for FIFA World Cup
Hisense, the sponsor of 2018 FIFA World Cup, was commissioned as the official World Cup TV by FIFA. It was also the broadcaster of the entire match line-up.
In an unprecedented move, FIFA and Hisense joined forces to create an immersive viewing experience for fans worldwide with the application of several world-class technologies.
These include 120Hz Native refresh rate, sports mode, facial recognition to identify football players, and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered interactive image search.
The motion technologies contributed to superb image clarity and smooth motion flow to view fast motion sports on screen.
Facial recognition and AI immediately made the World Cup more of an interactive and immersive experience for fans.
FIFA is highly mindful of the need to provide high-speed clarity and imaging on the large screen for fans. For this, it has enlisted the expertise of Hisense to design the best TV for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
It’s not by a stroke of luck that World Cup Russia 2018 became the “Biggest Game on Earth” in the history of the world.
The FIFA World Cup: TV’s Last Strongholds
In these days of smartphones and video streaming, FIFA World Cup is one of the last strongholds of linear, live television.
According to a recent Ipsos Poll, 62 percent of all people aware of the World Cup across 27 countries plan to watch parts of the tournament on TV, while just 1 in 4 people plan to watch the games online and even fewer (13 percent) plan to use a mobile device.
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil reached a global TV audience of 3.2 billion people and the final between Germany vs Argentina attracted more than 1 billion viewers.
The world still gravitates towards the big screen TV, image clarity, and superior motion handling when it comes to live-action sports entertainment.
FIFA World Cup and TV: The Best of Friends Ever
The relationship between TV and FIFA World Cup are inseparable and their fate intertwined.
In the early days, the rise in the adoption of TV propelled FIFA World Cup to the stratospheric heights it is today.
Therefore, FIFA is extremely focused on the importance of delivering the best TV display technologies by harnessing the latest innovation and integrating sports with technology.
With its iconic influence on football fans across the world, companies can leverage the best platform for their branding campaigns.
Smart TVs of the future will definitely become bigger and smarter as features become more aligned with the best experience possible for all consumers. Let’s get real, what’s a big game without a big screen?
If you are a long-time fan watching FIFA World Cup QATAR 2022, wouldn’t it make the experience more enjoyable and exhilarating?
Besides a large screen with superb imaging technology, what’s your idea of an unforgettable time watching the World Cup this year?
I’m sure many football fans like me would like to hear from you! Let us know in the comment section below.
For those of you who want to know how Hisense smart TV (Sports mode) can boost your World Cup experience, these are our highly recommended flagship models.
Check out our best-selling 75 inch TVs, the Hisense U7H and Hisense U8H Mini LED TV.