The 2018 Fifa World Cup has reached the knockout stages, with Brazil and Mexico hoping to be the latest team to book their place in the quarter finals.
But even before we reach the last eight teams, figures show that football fans have been tuning into online streams of the games in record numbers.
The most viewed match of the World Cup group stages was England versus Tunisia, according to live streaming figures published by the BBC, with more than 3 million people viewing the match across BBC Sport and BBC iPlayer.
The game between Brazil and Mexico, set to kick off at 3pm BST on 2 July, however coverage will be streamed through the ITV website.
A total of 31.2 million browsers watched the group matches through the BBC platform. This compares to 32 million online viewers for the whole of Brazil 2014.
The BBC’s chief technology and product officer Matthew Postgate, said in a statement shared with The Independent: “Alongside the BBC’s world-class TV and Radio coverage, record numbers of fans are using our digital services to follow the World Cup. Millions are watching the big matches on their connected TV at home, while millions more are sneaking a peak on their work laptop or cramming in some games on their commute.
He added: “People love the BBC’s World Cup coverage -and we’re making sure they can tune in whenever and wherever they want.”
Even more viewers are expected for the knockout games, as the last 15 days of the tournament tend to produce the largest viewing figures – both for TV and online.
“We’re delighted that we’ve been able to bring some of the most exciting games of the World Cup so far to BBC audiences and that so many have tuned in,” said Steve Rudge, BBC lead executive of football.
“We now look forward to bringing viewers some of the biggest games of the next round including heavyweight clashes between France and Argentina and when the hosts Russia take on Spain in Moscow.”
Cybersecurity experts have previously warned that some online sites hosting live streams of World Cup matches pose a threat to football fans who watch them.
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