Argentina’s dramatic victory over France in penalty kicks in the World Cup final was the second most watched soccer match of any kind in the United States.
The opening number Sunday match for Nielsen, Fox and Telemundo shows combined English- and Spanish-language viewers of 25,783,000.
This is behind the 26.7 million that tuned in to the 2015 Women’s World Cup final, when the US defeated Japan 5–2 in a match that aired in prime time for most of the United States because The tournament was held in Canada.
Fox’s numbers from Sunday should increase when “match-only” ratings are released later on Tuesday. The 16,783,000 average released by Fox and Nielsen includes some pre- and post-match coverage.
Argentina’s first World Cup title since 1986 was Fox’s most-watched match of the tournament, peaking at over 15,491,000, which saw the Americans draw 0–0 with England during group-stage play on November 25. .
Sunday’s combined audience was a 31% increase compared to the 2018 final, averaging 17.83 million on Fox and Telemundo. Fox viewers increased by 25.5% compared to four years earlier, when France defeated Croatia in the final.
Telemundo has a total viewership of 9 million, a jump of 65% from 2018. Nearly a third – 2.96 million – streamed Sunday’s match on the digital services of Peacock and Telemundo, making it the most streamed World Cup match in US history regardless of language.
By comparison, the 6.04 million who watched on Telemundo was triple the 1.9 million who watched the network’s broadcast of Super Bowl 57 earlier this year.
While the Super Bowl continues to lead in championship viewing — this year’s game had a combined audience of 112.3 million — the World Cup finals outpaced the other sports. Game 5 of the World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Houston Astros averaged 12.77 million on Fox, and was the most-watched game of the six-game series. The series-clinching games of the NBA Finals and the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals averaged 13.99 million and 5.8 million, respectively, on ABC.
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