After France beat Belgium to reach the final of the FIFA World Cup in Russia
last night, England and Croatia will face off later today for a spot in what is arguably the greatest game on earth. When the Final kicks off in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday at 6 pm local time (11 am EDT), hundreds of millions will be watching from every corner of the world.
As the following chart illustrates, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina was watched by 562 million people on average during the 120 minutes of play. Nearly 700 million people watched at least 20 minutes of the game at home and more than a billion watched it at home or at a public place.
No other single sporting contest comes close to the reach of the World Cup Final. Even the Super Bowl, maybe the biggest event from an American point of view, pales in comparison to the World Cup Final’s global appeal
. Its worldwide audience is estimated at around 160 million (of which 100+ million are U.S. viewers), illustrating that compared to the biggest game in football, the biggest game in American football is mostly what its name suggests: an American affair.