Almost half the world's population watched the World Cup in Russia on television this summer, according to research carried out for Fifa.
A record 3.57 billion people tuned in during the tournament, said Publicis Media Sport and Entertainment.
More than one billion watched the final live, while 327.5 million people watched England's semi-final defeat by Croatia.
Viewers also engaged with the coverage for longer than in past tournaments.
The report also showed an unprecedented number of viewers watched the action on digital platforms.
Philippe le Floc'h, chief commercial officer of football's world governing body Fifa, said the figures showed that "fans everywhere are insatiable for world-class football".
He added: "These figures really do support the claim that Russia 2018 was the best World Cup ever."
France won the World Cup, which featured 64 matches from 14 June to 15 July.