Norwegians satisfied with the coverage of the UEFA World Cup
December 21st, 2022, Tove Keldsen

Norwegians satisfied with the coverage of the UEFA World Cup

From the start of the championship on 20 November to the dramatic final on Sunday evening, 18 December, the AgendaTracker has looked at the media's coverage of the FIFA World Cup and whether Norwegians think the coverage has been broad and balanced enough. Although there has been much criticism and discussion, there is also a consensus that the Norwegian media have lived up to their social responsibility in the coverage of the cup.

AgendaTracker is a collaboration between YouGov, the media intelligence agency Infomedia and the communications agency PR-operatørene. YouGov surveyed 1018 Norwegian representatives of the adult population between 14-18 December 2022 about their attitudes toward the FIFA World Cup and the media’s coverage of the cup.

According to the survey, more than half the Norwegian population (57%) followed the coverage of the sporting and non-sporting aspects of the World Cup in Qatar. 36% did not see any matches because of a lack of interest. In comparison, 12% actively boycotted the championship. 45% of the population have seen either one or more games. 6% had planned to boycott but admitted to having cracked along the way.

Norwegian media were most critical

The AgendaTracker also looked at what subjects the media covered during the championship. The figures show that the coverage was initially strongly influenced by topics such as human rights and boycotts. These topics were initially more relevant than general coverage of the matches. In addition, migrant workers, the "OneLove" campaign, LGTB+ rights, the alcohol ban, Klaveness' reaction to Infantino's speech, and corruption were also frequently discussed topics. As the weeks passed, the media covered fewer non-sporting aspects of the cup.

However, according to Infomedia, the Norwegian and Swedish media had the highest proportion of critical articles throughout the World Cup compared to the Danish, French, Spanish, English, and German media.

This engaged Norwegians the most

According to the survey, the news that engaged the most Norwegians during the World Cup was FIFA's refusal of captain's armbands with rainbow colors, where as many as 6 out of 10 stated that they were sad or upset about it. At the opposite end, 6 out of 10 were a little or very happy that Morocco, as the first African team ever, qualified for the semi-finals.

Only 14% were sad that Portugal and Ronaldo left the championship, while 46% were happy to follow Messi and Argentina's fight for the World Cup title. 4 out of 10 stated they were pleased that Qatar lost all their matches.

52% of those polled were also happy that Iranian players demonstrated during the national anthem. In comparison, 54% were pleased with the German team's display against FIFA in their first game in the championship.

Norwegians also have close ties to our neighboring nations, and Denmark's poor performance saddened 25% during the World Cup.