The World Cup Is 246x Bigger Than the Super Bowl

United States South Africa Outdoor
by Adam Roy Jun 14, 2010

Soccer Balls FNB Bank City Shine 2010 – 2010 World Cup Good News

We Americans are fond of our brand of football. But how does it stack up next to soccer?

THIS YEAR, 106.5 million people tuned in to watch Super Bowl XLIV, making it the largest television event in American history.

That’s a big audience, but not nearly as big as that of the 2006 World Cup, whose total viewership was estimated at 26.29 billion. That means that as a species, we watched an average of three games per person.

It’s difficult to compare the World Cup to the Super Bowl: one is a month-long tournament, while the other is a single game. It’s hard to gather information on an event as international as the World Cup, and some of the numbers may even be inflated. Still, set them side by side, and a clear pattern emerges:

Here’s how the two competitions measure up:


World Cup (2006):

  • Final: 715.1 million
  • Cumulative: 26.29 billion (est.)

Super Bowl (2010): 106.5 million

Number of Games

World Cup: 64

Super Bowl: 1

Total Time Played

World Cup: 96 hours (not counting stoppage time)

Super Bowl: 60 minutes

Number of Teams

World Cup: 32

Super Bowl: 2

Ad Revenue

World Cup (2006 est.): $1 billion

Super Bowl (2009): $213 million

Ticket Price

World Cup final (2010): $400-$900

Super Bowl (2010): $800-$1,000

Community Connection

Read about the African teams playing in the 2010 World Cup.

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