More than half of adults across 34 countries plan to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Brazil and Germany are most widely expected to be the tournament’s finalists

The author(s)

  • Robert Grimm Public Affairs, Germany
  • Nicolas Boyon Public Affairs, US
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A new Ipsos survey finds that, on average across 34 countries, more than half of all adults plan to watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup, to be held from November 20 to December 18 in Qatar. The 55% who intend to watch at least some of the month-long event outnumber the 39% who say they follow football (soccer). Most of those who plan to watch plan to do it with family and friends, but many also plan to do so with colleagues – and three in ten expect they will miss work or school to watch games.

Brazil is the country most widely expected to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup, followed by Germany, Argentina, and France.

The survey was conducted among 22,528 adults under the age of 75 between August 26 and September 9 on Ipsos’s Global Advisor online survey platform.

Key Findings

On average across the 34 countries surveyed:

  • 39% say they follow football, including 17% who describe themselves as passionate about it
  • 55% of all adults say they plan to watch at least some part of the World Cup
    • Viewing intent exceeds 75% in the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Peru, Brazil, and India
  • 75% of those who intend to watch the World Cup plan to do so at least in part on a TV set, 35% on the internet, 26% on a mobile device, and 13% on a tablet
  • Among those who plan to watch any of the month-long competition,
    • 85% expect they will do so with family and/or friends
    • 57% expect they will do so with colleagues
    • 53% expect they will go to a bar or a restaurant to see for it
    • 46% expect they will buy World Cup-theme products
    • 34% plan to keep a good luck charm with them during the games
    • 31 % expect they’ll miss work or school to watch a game
  • Among those who have seen, read, or heard about the tournament, 21% expect Brazil to be the winning country, 13% Germany, and 10% each Argentina and France
    • Brazil and Germany are both expected the be the runner-up by 13%, France by 11%, and Argentina and England both by 8%

Detailed Findings

Football following

On average across all 33 countries surveyed, 17% describe themselves as “passionate” followers who “will watch as many games as possible at any given time” and 23% say they follow the sport but will only watch games played by their favorite league or club and national team. Combined, after rounding, self-described football followers make up 39% of adults surveyed globally.

Another 21% say they “very occasionally watch football/football games played by leading league/club and national teams” while the remaining 40% either do not watch any games at all or are not aware of the upcoming World Cup.

Countries with the largest proportions of football followers are, in order: Indonesia (69%), Saudi Arabia (67%), the United Arab Emirates (65%), and India (60%). The next tier consists of Argentina (51%), Brazil (50%), South Africa (50%), and Peru (49%). In contrast, fewer than one in five in Japan (14%), Canada (15%), Hungary (18%), and The United States (19%) describe themselves as football followers.

The intensity of football following varies more by gender than it does by age. On average globally, football following is about twice as high among males (51% are followers, including 24% who are “passionate” about it) as it is among females (28% are followers, including 9% who are passionate). Of note, it is just as high among those aged 35-49 as it is among those under 35 (43% followers, 19% passionate in both age groups), but somewhat lower among those aged 50-74 (31%, 12%).

Viewing intent

On average globally, 55% of all adults say they plan to watch at least some part of the World Cup.

Viewing intent is highest in the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia. Among the surveyed countries with a national team competing this year, more than three in four adults in Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil plan to watch at least some of the games vs. just one in four in the U.S. and Canada. In European countries that won the World Cup at least once, viewing intent is on par with the global average in Spain, Italy (although its national team did not qualify this year), and Great Britain (which will have two teams, England and Wales, competing in Qatar). However, it is lower than average in Germany and even more so in France.

Globally, the average proportion of those intending to watch the 2022 competition is higher among males (66%) than it is among females (45%). It is identical among adults under the age of 35 and those aged 35-49 (59%) and comparatively lower among those aged 50-74 (47%).

Among all adults surveyed in each of the countries, an average of 41% say they intend to watch at least part of the World Cup on a television set, 20% on the internet, 15% on a mobile device, and 7% on a tablet. Rebasing percentages only on those who intend to watch the World Cup on any device, finds that 75% of likely viewers plan to watch at least some of the competition on TV, 35% on the internet, 26% on a mobile device, and 13% on a tablet – and therefore, that many will use multiple devices to follow the month-long event.

On average across all 34 countries:

  • 47% of all adults surveyed (85% of likely viewers) expect they will do so with family and/or friends, including as many as 76% of all in Indonesia, 74% in Peru, and 73% in Argentina
  • 31% of all adults surveyed (57% of likely viewers) expect they will do so with colleagues, including 65% of all in Indonesia and 63% in UAE
  • 30% of all adults surveyed (53% of likely viewers) expect they will go to a bar or a restaurant, including 58% of all in UAE and 55% in Saudi Arabia
  • 25% of all adults surveyed (46% of likely viewers) expect they will buy World Cup-theme products, including 58% of all in Indonesia, 53% in Saudi Arabia, and 52% in India
  • 19% of all adults surveyed (34% of likely viewers) plan to keep a good luck charm with them during the games, including 57% of all in India and 42% in Saudi Arabia
  • 17% of all adults surveyed (31% of likely viewers) expect they’ll miss work or school to watch a game, including 48% of all in India and 40% in Saudi Arabia

Expected winner and runner-up

Brazil’s team is most widely expected to win the tournament. On average across all 34 countries surveyed, 21% of those who have seen, heard, or read anything about the 2022 World Cup 2022, believe their national selection will take home the trophy. Following Brazil are Germany (13%), Argentina (10%), France (10%), Spain (7%), England (6%), Portugal (4%), the Netherlands (2%), and Belgium (2%).

Argentina and Brazil stand out as the two countries whose citizens most display “patriotic optimism”: 73% in Argentina expect their national team, la Albiceleste, to win the tournament; 66% in Brazil expect their Seleçao to do so. Next, but far behind are Spain (31%), France (27%), and Germany (23%). In each of the other 10 countries surveyed competing in the tournament, fewer than 20% believe their national team will win.

Brazil and Germany are tied as the countries whose team is most expected to be the runner-up each selected by a global average of 13% of all adults aware of the tournament. They are followed by France (11%), Argentina (8%), England (8%), Spain (7%), Portugal (4%), Belgium (3%), the Netherlands (3%), and the United States (2%).


About the Study

These are the findings of a 34-country Ipsos survey conducted August 26 – September 9, 2022, among 22,528 adults aged 18-74 in Canada, the Republic of Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey, and the United States, 20-74 in Thailand, 21-74 in Indonesia and Singapore, and 16-74 in 24 other countries, via Ipsos’s Global Advisor online survey platform.

 

The author(s)

  • Robert Grimm Public Affairs, Germany
  • Nicolas Boyon Public Affairs, US

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