RIO DE JANEIRO: World Cup television coverage has already been breaking records in Brazil, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, Argentina, France, the Netherlands, Croatia and Italy.

An all-time high was set in the French-speaking part of Belgium while what world federation FIFA describes as “an impressive increase” has been registered in the United States, Canada and Australia.

ESPN’s coverage broke audience records for men’s World Cup matches in the United States.

Key figures include:

 42.9 m watched Brazil and Croatia on Brazilian channel TV Globo, the highest sports broadcast of 2014;

 England and Italy’s opener attracted 14.2m on BBC1 in the UK and 12.8m on RAI 1, the highest TV audiences in both countries in 2014;

 34.1m watched Japan play Côte d’Ivoire on Japanese channel NHK, twice the size of the next biggest sports broadcast of 2014;

Germany’s win over Portugal reached 26.4m on ARD in Germany, the biggest 2014 TV sports audience; and

11.1m watched US v Ghana on ESPN in the United States – a record high for ESPN’s coverage of men’s FIFA World Cup matches

Niclas Ericson, director of FIFA TV, said: “These record-breaking figures show just how popular football and the FIFA World Cup are across the world, from Japan to Argentina. We are seeing highly encouraging growth in interest in markets such as the United States and Australia.”

FIFA has invested more this time around the $150m it spent on broadcast production at the 2010 World Cup.

More than 160 main TV media rights licensees are contracted around the world, meaning all global territories are able to access the 2014 World Cup. In total, FIFA has approximately 700 licensees across TV, mobile and broadband, and radio for the World Cup.