Football Vs Cricket World Cup: 9-0
A look at how football stacks up against cricket on parameters such as viewership and participation.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup is well underway, with the teams battling it out in the knockout stages. Meanwhile, in the world of cricket, the teams have started prepping for the World Cup slated to be held in England and Wales from May to July next year.
But have you wondered how much popularity the two sports enjoy worldwide? In India, cricket rules the roost, while football is still struggling to find its feet.
But the gentleman’s game – as cricket is often called – has barely made a mark outside the Commonwealth nations. Football, on the other hand, is popular across continents. Not only does football have a much larger global following, but also more money at stake.
BloombergQuint looks at viewership, participation and more in football and cricket world cups.
The number of nations that participate in the football world cup are three times those that are part of the cricket world cup.
The gap becomes even more stark when it comes to the qualifying rounds. In the qualification round for the current FIFA World Cup, a record 211 countries participated. Meanwhile, the cricket world cup's qualification tournament had 10 associate teams, something the International Cricket Council (ICC) has been criticised for in the past.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup’s viewership was twice that of the previous edition of the cricket World Cup. The football World Cup is televised across the world with nearly 200 broadcasters in almost every country that participated in the qualifying round. In contrast, the ICC Cricket World Cup has 44 licensed broadcasters.
The football world cup’s existence dates back to 1930, over 40 years before the first cricket world cup was played. The 20 editions of the FIFA World Cup since then (the one in Russia is the 21st edition) have been played in 17 nations, with a host being repeated only three times. The 11 cricket world cups since 1975 have been played across 11 nations.
Event-based revenue accounts for a huge chunk of ICC and FIFA earnings.
But what FIFA makes from the football world cup is more than 100 times of what ICC makes from the cricket world cup, according to their financial statements. This revenue includes marketing, broadcasting, ticketing, hospitality and licensing rights.
FIFA also spends more towards organising the world cup.
FIFA World Cup winners, losers and even participants earn significantly more than the nations participating in the ICC Cricket World Cup.
When Germany won the football world cup in 2014, their prize money was more than three times the prize money offered by the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, financial statements show. Australia, which won the cricket world cup in 2015, earned half of what Cameroon got after getting knocked out in the football world cup group stages without winning a match.
If you're going to watch a football world cup match, be prepared to dig deep into your pockets.
At the ongoing FIFA World Cup, the cheapest ticket for a standard group match was nearly five times costlier than what the cheapest ticket would be at the cricket world cup.
Despite costlier tickets, the FIFA World Cup registers a higher average stadium turnout than the ICC Cricket World Cup. In the most recent editions, the average attendance at the stadium in the football world cup was over twice of that in the cricket world cup.
World cups are a boon for the host country’s tourism industry.
In 2014, Brazil received the highest number of tourists ever in a year when it hosted the FIFA World Cup, according to its tourism ministry. This was mainly due to more than 600,000 foreign visitors coming to the land of Samba to cheer their nations. That record was beaten when the country hosted the Olympics two years later.
(This story was originally published on BloombergQuint)
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