Huge growth in Indian interest for World Cup

The FIFA World Cup trophy has been displayed in India's major cities as organisers and sponsors build on the sport’s rising popularity five months before the world’s biggest football extravaganza kicks off in South Africa. While a replica of the FIFA World Cup trophy made its way through the country in a promotional event in 2004, this was the first time the original was brought.

Up to 34 million viewers in India tuned in to watch the 2002 World Cup held in Korea-Japan and increased to 50 million for the finals in Germany in 2006. According to the Indian Express, local broadcast rights for the event have gone up from $3 million in 2002 to $8 million in 2006 and $40 million in 2010, which will be telecast by Ten Sports.

The 2006 edition, which was showcased on ESPN Star Sports, got a total rating of 1.98 in cable and satellite TV households in the 15+ age group and the ratings are comparable with those cricket generates.