England's World Cup glory bid could save the nation’s ailing pub industry.
Fans are piling into boozers to watch the Three Lions’ exploits in Qatar on TV.
Bars could pocket a £155million lifeline if Gareth Southgate’s stars make it to the final the week before Christmas.
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That could save many hit by cost of living energy bill rises from closure, experts say.
A series of nail-biting matches in the tournament’s group stages have also captured the public’s imagination.
FIFA chiefs said games are drawing in record viewing figures across the world.
Japan v Costa Rica on November 27 was watched by 36.37 million – 74% higher than the average audience for group games at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The USA’s goalless draw with England was the most watched men's football match in American TV history attracting 19.65 million viewers in the States and 18 million in the UK.
Analysis from insurance provider Simply Business said if the tournament had been played in the summer pubs could have expected to pocket £155m.
Winter takings were expected to be down.
But the Three Lions’ fine form and a wealth of exciting matches has raised hopes spending could match – or even better – summer estimates.
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More than two-thirds of football fans are watching the action in pubs, according to data from business analysts NielsenIQ.
That is fuelling an estimated 64% rise in daily sales at venues screening matches.
Paul Bolton, client director for GB Drinks, said the World Cup was a massive opportunity’ for the industry to claw back any recent deficits caused by market turbulence and to finish the year on a high’.
Strategy and execution are crucial for venues that are hoping to have the best of both worlds,’’ he said.
But there’s every reason for optimism.’’
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