Africa’s most formidable team, the Nigerian Super Eagles will know their fate tonight once they face their greatest football nemesis, Argentina. This will be one of the most anticipated matches yet in this year’s World Cup as Nigeria needs to beat Argentina to sail through to the knock off stage. They cannot afford to lose. Going into a draw will take their fate away from their hands as there will be no guarantees after tonight.

Soaring over Iceland

The Super Eagles have been soaring high after beating Iceland 2:0 on Friday 22nd June. This was their 2nd match in this year’s World Cup. Ahmed Musa emerged as the hero after he delivered the two classic goals for Nigeria. This win restored the much-needed hope for millions of fans in Africa and beyond who have come to admire the team on and off the pitch.

The viewership in the West African region was highest in Nigeria. Over 40% of all TV viewing audiences surveyed in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states were glued to this fast-paced match. Supersport channel commanded the highest audience by a channel to capture 26% of all TV audiences as the match aired. In Ghana, over 31% of all TV audiences tuned in with Kwese Free Sport having the highest audience share of channel at 17%.

In the East African region, Rwanda had the highest share of TV watching viewers watching the match commanding a 53% of all TV audiences. The reason for this high number is due to the national broadcaster Rwanda TV having bought the local rights to air the World Cup. The station had a channel share of 45%. In Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, those who tuned in were at 32%, 34% and 32% of all TV viewing audiences respectively.

A Disappointing Start: Nigeria Vs Croatia

Nigeria’s start at this year’s World Cup was a disappointing one. Their first match with Croatia on Saturday 16th June ended in a 2:0 score dashing the hopes of many African football fans who have pegged all their hopes on these African football giants.

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In the West African region, over 21% of TV viewers surveyed in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states tuned in to watch this match with Supersport having the highest viewership by channel share at 7%. In Ghana, over 34% of all TV viewers tuned in with GTV having the highest channel share of 16%.

In East Africa, those who tuned in the game in Kenya took 38% of all TV viewers during that period with NTV having the highest channel share at 21%. In Rwanda, the World Cup viewing audience was at 49% during the airing of the match with Rwanda TV commanding the highest share at 38%. In Uganda, Supersport had the highest audience share at 24%  out of a total share of 35% of TV viewers who watched the game nationally.

Faceoff with Argentina determines their fate

As they go into today’s match, Nigeria currently has 3 points following their win against Iceland. They cannot afford to lose or even draw in their game today against Argentina. Today will be the 5th time that the two teams are facing each other in the World Cup since 1994. In all previous World cup matches, Nigeria lost to Argentina.

So what are their chances?

The Super Eagles were placed in a very tough group together with Croatia, Iceland, and Argentina who are a favorite to many football fans. However, Argentina’s performance so far has been underwhelming after they drew 1:1 with Iceland and lost 3 goals to Croatia.

From a World Cup kit to Fashion Statement

Away from the pitch, the Nigerian team has received recognition and admiration beyond the pitch due to their World Cup kit.

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Their kit this year become the most anticipated jersey after it was unveiled by Nike three months transforming the apparel from a football kit to a fashion statement. According to GQ magazine “Since that February reveal, the jersey’s picked up an alleged three million pre-orders”.  When the collection went up for sale on June 1st, it sold out within 3 minutes, confirms Fader.

As reported by CNN Africa, the huge demand for the jerseys in Nigeria has fueled the market for counterfeits as more Nigerians seek to identify with their heroes as they represent them on the world football stage.

Apart from Cameroon, Nigeria is the only other African team to have the most qualifiers to the World Cup. This year’s event saw a unique list of qualifiers from the continent that has previously been represented by Ghana and Cameroon

Nigeria Africa’s hope at the 2018 World Cup

In our recent World Cup survey on awareness, interest and viewership habits of Africans during this year’s world cup, Nigeria team had the highest number of supporters across the 6 countries where the survey ran.

Super Eagles are a darling of many African fans. 9% of African predicted that this team would beat all odds to bring the trophy home. Nigeria is the only African country second to Cameroon to participate in the most World Cup games. This year marks the 6th time for Nigeria to qualify.

GeoPoll has been and continues to collect media audience measurement data throughout the World Cup in Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda, and Rwanda.  Contact us now to get these deeper insights into the World Cup viewership in Africa or to sign up for our exclusive World Cup offer!

(Image credits: Premium Times Nigeria)