The Impressive Asian Cup run of Alain Perrin's China ended on Thursday following their 2-0 defeat to hosts Australia in the quarterfinal in Brisbane. But, the quarterfinal defeat of the national team, which followed three straight wins in the group stages, did not deter the Chinese public from tuning into their television sets in numbers thereby setting a record in live football broadcasting in recent years in the world's most populous country.
The official Asian Cup website reported that the quarterfinal contest -- watched by 46,067 in Brisbane Stadium -- had an average television audience of 27 million and peak viewership of 32 million on the state-run China Central Television 5 (CCTV-5) channel.
The previous record of 23 Million was for the CCTV-5 broadcast of the second leg of the 2013 AFC Champions League final between China's Guangzhou Evergrande and Korea Republic's FC Seoul.
Guangzhou Evergrande -- coached by 2006 Italian World Cup winning coach Marcelo Lippi -- drew the second leg at home 1-1 and claimed the title on away goals following their 2-2 draw in Seoul thereby becoming the first Chinese club to win the elite continental club competition.
The Asian Cup quarterfinal in Brisbane had a total reach -- the number of people watching the game at any given time -- of 76 million on CCTV-5 alone and 95 million including across various Chinese regional broadcasters.