Last Sunday's matchup between the U.S. and Portugal attracted nearly 25 million viewers on ESPN, netting the highest TV rating for any Soccer game ever broadcast in the U.S. World Cup fever is upon us. And with good cause; this year's World Cup opening round has been one of the most exciting in decades (two stoppage time goals on consecutive days?!).
TV aside, the influence of the World Cup is also evident on the App Store where Soccer-centric apps have skyrocketed to the top of the charts in recent weeks.
A few days ago, Appfigures put together a few charts which highlight the growing popularity of these apps on the App Store. Naturally, apps that offer free streaming of World Cup games such as the "watchESPN" app are doing extraordinarily well. As of Monday evening, three of the top seven free iPhone apps are all World Cup related (FIFA World Cup Brasil, WatchESPN, and Univision Deportes).
The chart below is particularly interesting as it shows the popularity of FIFA's official World Cup App across a number of countries in the weeks building up to Brazil's opening match against Croatia.
Undoubtedly helping matters is that Apple itself has taken to advertising the World Cup on the App Store. To wit, check out the attention-grabbing promotion for the WatchESPN app which can currently be found on the App Store main screen.
What's more, Apple published a prominent section called "Soccer Fever" where fans can check out the best Soccer video games, the best apps to stay abreast of all the World Cup news as it happens, social networking apps useful for "sharing the fever", soccer books, soccer themed movies, Brazilian music recommendations, and for those lucky enough to be on hand for the festivities, apps to help folks discover and get around Brazil.