Survey: Nearly Half of U.S. Sports Fans Plan to Watch FIFA World Cup 2022

(Image credit: Belden)

BOSTON, Mass.—Nearly half of U.S. sports fans (45%) are planning to watch the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar this month, according to data from consultancy firm, Altman Solon. 

The high-profile event is expected to achieve record-breaking global viewership, and the strong interest among U.S. sports fans comes amid the busy sports and holiday season. The excitement for watching the games is also reflected in solid interest for tuning in for every tournament match and paying to watch the games, the researchers reported. 

''In terms of global audience viewership and buzz, there is no comparable event to the FIFA World Cup,” said Altman Solon partner Mary Ann Halford. “However, with the starting date change, the FIFA World Cup will now compete in the U.S. against the NFL, NBA, and college football for audience engagement. It also arrives in the middle of the holiday advertising season, which could provide benefits for broadcasters and their advertising partners. The survey shows solid U.S. fan interest, but I will be watching to see how the domestic audience performs compared to the 2018 games.''

Altman Solon's FIFA World Cup 2022 Survey surveyed more than 17,000 respondents across 17 countries. Key survey findings include:

  • The overall U.S. interest level in the games (45%) is lower than established soccer hotbeds, but the percentage of U.S. fans who said they were “very interested” in the FIFA World Cup, is 28%, ahead of Italy (26%).
  • More than a quarter (26%) of U.S. sports fans are willing to pay to watch the FIFA World Cup, which is higher than the U.K. (24%) but lower than Brazil (58%) and UAE (70%).
  • 13 percent of U.S. fans plan to watch every game of the FIFA World Cup. While lower than rates in Latin America and UAE, the U.S. interest level is comparable to those in the soccer strongholds of the U.K., France, and Italy.
  • 25 percent of U.S. fans plan to watch the FIFA World Cup in public (bar, restaurant, watch party).

More survey data and insights on key trends and developments reshaping the FIFA World Cup for properties, media partners, and investors, is available here (opens in new tab)

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.