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FIFA research says 3.5B people viewed some World Cup action

France v Croatia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15: Hugo Lloris of France lifts the World Cup trophy to celebrate with his teammates after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA says more than 3.5 billion people viewed some of the 2018 World Cup, with 1.12 billion watching at least one minute of France beating Croatia 4-2 in the final.

A FIFA-commissioned review of World Cup viewing says the final’s television audience was 516.6 million by the traditional measure of “global average in-home audience.” More watched on digital devices and out-of-home screenings in public spaces, bars and restaurants.

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The global TV audience for the 64-game tournament in Russia averaged 191 million per game - up from 187 million for the 2014 edition in Brazil.

FIFA says “each game was a global televisual event in its own right.”

FIFA’s research suggests most viewers also watched for longer than they did four years earlier.