The 2018 World Cup has been in the spotlight since its launch on June 14. Ozae – the first analysis tool for Google News and social networks – scanned 46,357 articles on the World Cup from June 14 to July 11, which allows us to identify media trends around the competition.

More and more media coverage of matches

What emerges first of all is the difference between the buzz made by group matches and direct elimination matches. While pool matches have had relatively low visibility on social networks, knockout matches are much more talked about. For example, the article that generated the most buzz on social networks in France about the France-Peru match achieved a Social Score of 2,975 compared to 15,000 for the eighth round of the France-Argentina competition.

Involvement of countries in line with their team’s progress

In addition, there are disparities in the involvement of different countries. While the most popular article on social networks has a social score of 60,000 in France, it only reaches 8,758 in Germany. There is therefore less enthusiasm in some football countries, certainly linked to the early elimination of the reigning world champion.

More or less international players…

Despite the international nature of this competition, it can be seen that the media exposure of most players remains largely concentrated on a national scale. For example, in France, 159 articles on GNews have concerned Antoine Griezmann since June 14, while only 9 in Italy and Germany and 11 in the United Kingdom. However, it should be noted that there are exceptions for the best players in the world. In France, for example, Messi, a five-time Argentinian Golden Ball winner, was the subject of 137 articles, almost as many as Antoine Griezmann, despite being a star player for the French team.

…and coaches who focus attention in their country

The media coverage of breeders is similar. There is thus a polarisation of articles about them in their country when they are almost absent from the foreign press. While 120 articles have been published on Didier Deschamps in France, there are only 18 in Italy, 6 in Germany, 1 in the United States and 2 in England.

The athlete relegated to the background

Finally, a major media trend during this World Cup is the relative importance of the sports field. Indeed, almost half of the articles about the World Cup making the buzz on social networks do not directly concern the sportsman. For example, on social networks, Neymar attracted more attention for his acting than for his sporting performance.

Screenshot of Ozae data

Now that the final has passed, and France has won, don’t hesitate to test Ozae to analyse the media coverage of such an event!


By Noam Jaunay and Adam Strul.

2018 World Cup media trends on Google News and social networks

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