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AFC U23 Championship China 2018 final sets record highs in TV viewership and social media engagement in Vietnam

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship China 2018 recorded a historic high in television viewership ratings and social media engagement in Vietnam as the nation took on Uzbekistan in the momentous final on January 27, 2018. 

The match was broadcast live on three major channels in Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh City Television’s HTV-9 as well as Vietnam Television’s VTV-2 and VTV-6.

According to data released by CSM Media Research and KantarMedia Vietnam, over 5.3 million people – almost half of the entire measurable TV population of 11.4 million in Vietnam – watched the final, making the AFC U23 Championship one of the country’s most-watched television programmes in recent years. The final achieved a staggering 77% share of viewing in Vietnam, which means three out of four Vietnamese watching television that afternoon were tuned in to the match.

Vietnam’s remarkable performance also registered a powerful viral effect on social media. The AFC’s official Facebook page (theAFCdotcom) earned close to 1.5 million engagements in Vietnam alone; and by the final whistle, the page had secured a nine-fold increase of 165,079 followers from Vietnam, making the country the second biggest fan group on the channel.

Throughout the tournament, AFC’s Facebook page achieved an impressive reach of over 11 million and close to 17 million video views in Vietnam. This translated to over 150,000 hours Vietnamese fans spent watching the videos. On AFC’s YouTube channel, the response was equally overwhelming, with more than four million Vietnamese fans clocking close to 6.5 million minutes of viewing time.

AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John said, “The solid ratings on Vietnamese television and social media underscore the enduring appeal of football in this region, and demonstrate the power of engaging local communities with meaningful experiences and content that truly matter to them. Watching fans pour out into the streets to welcome their national heroes, packing public viewing spaces to capacity, and decorating the stadium with their country’s colours were proud moments for all of us.

“As we celebrate Uzbekistan’s historical victory at the AFC U23 Championship, we are equally encouraged by Vietnam’s performance, and applaud the phenomenal strides both nations have made to reach the final of the most prestigious platform for Asia’s future stars to shine.”

“Special praise must also go to the Vietnam Football Federation for their continued progress and proactive efforts in developing the game at all levels, which was recognised at the AFC Annual Awards Night in Bangkok last year when they earned the AFC Developing Member Associations of the Year award.”