So you'd think that with more people in the world (isn't the world population increasing?) and new avenues to watch football (cell phones, etc.), the audience for the 2010 World Cup would be the highest ever.
Not so, according to a report from Reuters.
FIFA claimed an audience of 26.3 billion for the 2006 event, broadcast in 214 countries and territories.
"It should be more or less similar for 2010," FIFA's television chief Niclas Ericson told a media briefing.
MY POV: 26.3 billion? How is that possible? Isn't the Earth's population only 6 billion or so?
"We do expect record figures in Africa, where there will be much more free TV coverage in general. But the problem with these figures is that many countries do not have audited numbers and it is therefore difficult to predict any significant increase or decrease.
"We do hope the audiences will grow a little bit in every country."
Ericson said only if countries like China, India and Indonesia, with massive populations, qualified could a major increase in audience be perfected. But all three countries have already been eliminated in the qualifiers.
"We will not give up trying to get everyone to watch the World Cup final," he added.
Ericson said FIFA would be offering live coverage specifically produced for mobile phones for the first time at the 2010 World Cup finals.
"We have rolled out an aggressive product because more and more people are using the phone now to watch clips, results and updates on their mobile phones. We will have dedicated feeds for mobile users."MY POV: The audience will be huge, no matter what. In this day and age, there will probably be very few eyeballs that won't see snippets of the 2010 World Cup ...