Weekly Ratings: Women’s World Cup Nets Fox an Easy Victory

Women's World Cup ratings
Kevin C. Cox/Getty

Americans’ interest in soccer — at least at World Cup time — continues to grow, with Sunday’s victory by USA over Japan for the Women’s World Cup title setting a U.S. ratings record for the sport.

Nielsen estimates that Sunday’s game averaged a whopping 26.7 million viewers, with 25.4 million watching the English-language telecast on Fox and another 1.3 million checking out the Spanish-language airing on Telemundo. The total audience is larger than that for every NBA Finals basketball game since 2010 and every World Series baseball game since 2004.

The English-language audience of 25.4 million far exceeded the previous soccer high in the U.S. of 18.2 million on ESPN last year for the United States-Portugal early-round Men’s World Cup contest. The previous high for women’s soccer in the States was the 1999 World Cup final on ESPN between the United States and China (18 million).

The big tune-in for soccer on Sunday, along with a portion of the USA-Germany women’s soccer game on Tuesday, propelled Fox to an easy demo win for the week of June 29-July 5; the network drew about as many young-adult viewers as its two closest competitors (NBC and CBS) combined. Fox also scored a rare victory in total viewers (6.7 million).

Other than soccer, reality programming dominated the week of June 30-July 5, with non-scripted fare accounting for the top eight series in adults 18-49. NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” led the way as usual in the demo (2.5/9) and was also the week’s most-watched entertainment program overall (10.74 million viewers).

Also in the top 10 last week were NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior,” all three nights of CBS’ “Big Brother,” VH1’s “Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta” and “The Bachelorette” and newcomer “Celebrity Family Feud” on ABC. “Feud” posted its lowest scores to date (1.6 rating/5 share in adults 18-49, 7.11 million viewers overall), but this was still an impressive showing opposite the conclusion of the Women’s World Cup Final.

On the scripted front, CBS introduced drama “Zoo” to a good-enough 1.2 rating/4 share in adults 18-49 and 8.18 million viewers overall, making it the summer’s No. 2-rated launch in the demo (behind ABC’s “The Whispers,” which has since faded) and No. 1 in total viewers. It was a quiet return, meanwhile, for the net’s Halle Berry series “Extant” (0.75/3 in 18-49, 5.27 million viewers overall), which hit a series low with its second-season premiere.

Among shows that have been airing all summer, both ABC’s “Whispers” (0.8/3 in 18-49, 3.36 million viewers overall) and NBC’s “Aquarius” (0.4/2 in 18-49, 2.44 million) hit lows in the holiday frame, and Fox’s “Wayward Pines” matched its (1.0/4 in 18-49, 3.38 million). The only scripted firstrun Big Four program to rise week to week was ABC’s “Rookie Blue” (0.7/3 in 18-49, 3.78 million), which edged up from the series low it set with its season premiere.

In cable, Discovery’s “Shark Week” got off to a winning start Sunday, with three hourlong programs that night ranking among the week’s top 20 programs in 18-49. The event’s top-rated program to date came on Tuesday of the current week, when “Bride of Jaws” did a 1.41 in 18-49 to lead all of cable for the night.

OWN’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” (0.93 in 18-49, 3.29 million viewers overall) had a strong season opener, leading all of basic cable scripted series for the week in 18-49. The Tyler Perry soap hit a series high in its core women 25-54 demo (1.95 rating or 1.18 million viewers in this age group).

USA’s “Mr. Robot,” whose June 24 premiere-night ratings were likely held down due to an early online release of its pilot, shot up 20% in 18-49 rating in its second week (0.55 vs. 0.46 in 18-49); and in Live+3, it surged from its premiere by 36% in the demo (to 1.11 rating) and 13% in total viewers (to 3.2 million). In adults 18-49, “Mr. Robot” has become the calendar year’s No. 2 scripted series launch on cable — behind only AMC’s “Better Call Saul.”

Similarly, Lifetime’s “UnReal,” whose first four episodes were posted online early last month, saw a spike Monday for its fifth episode (up 67% to a series-best 0.35 rating in 18-49); and a day after the ratings surge, the network renewed the show for a second season.

Also hitting summer highs last Monday were TNT’s “Major Crimes” in both 18-49 (0.68 rating) and total viewers (4.39 million), and ABC Family’s “The Fosters” in 18-49 (0.49) and adults 18-34 (0.52). The same night saw MTV’s “Teen Wolf” open its fifth season (0.61 in 18-49, 1.53 million viewers overall), coming in well below the demo delivery of its year-ago opener (0.90) as well as its same-night average last season (0.72).

A special Tuesday original of “Teen Wolf” (0.50 in 18-49, 1.18 million viewers overall) helped serve as the lead-in to the series premiere of “Scream” (0.45 in 18-49, 1.03 million). This wasn’t a great start for the show inspired by the slasher franchise, but it did retain more than 90% of “Wolf” in most categories, including a 98% hold of its lead-in among women 18-34 (0.86 vs. 0.88).

Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York” concluded its fourth season on a strong note Wednesday (0.49 in 18-49, 1.22 million viewers overall), rising to a season-high 1.6 million total viewers in Live+3. The season goes down as the highest-rated in “Million Dollar Listing” franchise history in adults 18-49 (0.63 rating in L+3).

Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer” picked up steam as it neared its finale, drawing its third best 18-49 rating (0.47) and second largest overall audience (885,000) of the season; USA’s “Complications” (0.34 in 18-49, 1.46 million viewers overall) bounced back after taking a tumble in its second week; Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful” edged up to a season-high 746,000 viewers with its finale; and HBO’s “True Detective” (2.62 million), “Ballers” (1.70 million) and “The Brink” (1.17 million) all had their smallest same-night numbers in their three airings this summer.

Of note in cable news, Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” finished as the week’s top-rated program in the news demo of adults 25-54 (458,000), beating usual leader (and lead-in) “The O’Reilly Factor” (431,000). The weekly victory, the Megyn Kelly-fronted show’s fifth of the calendar year, comes on the heels of a monthly demo win for the program, which was boosted in June by exclusive interviews with the Duggar family of “19 Kids and Counting.” Bill O’Reilly’s FNC show remained the most popular overall, averaging 2.53 million vs. 2.22 million for “Kelly File.”

 

PRIMETIME NETWORK LEADERS
(Week of June 22-28, 2015; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49 (rating/share)
Fox                           2.10/9
NBC                         1.11/4
CBS                         0.87/3
ABC                         0.81/3
UNI                          0.73/3
DISC                       0.55/2
TBS                         0.47/2
USA                         0.45/2
Adult Swim              0.38/2
HGTV                      0.35/2

Total Viewers (in millions)
Fox                            6.68
CBS                           5.01
NBC                          4.72
ABC                          3.52
UNI                            2.08
USA                          1.63
DISC                         1.56
TNT                          1.55
FNC                          1.51
HGTV                       1.49

TOP PRIMETIME PROGRAMS
(Week of June 15-21, 2015; live plus same-day)

Adults 18-49
1.  Women’s World Cup final-Sunday (Fox), 7.0/26
2.  America’s Got Talent (NBC), 2.5/9
3.  Big Brother-Wednesday (CBS), 1.9/8
3.  American Ninja Warrior (NBC), 1.9/7
3.  The Bachelorette (ABC), 1.9/7
6.  Big Brother-Thursday (CBS), 1.8/7
7.  Big Brother-Sunday (CBS), 1.7/6
8.  Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta (VH1), 1.6/6
8.  Celebrity Family Feud (ABC), 1.6/5
10.  Monster Mako (Discovery), 1.5/6
10.  I Can Do That (NBC), 1.5/5
12.  MasterChef (Fox), 1.4/6
12.  Island of the Mega Shark (Discovery), 1.4/5
14.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 1.3/6
15.  Zoo (CBS), 1.2/4
15.  American Ninja Warrior, Wednesday-r (NBC), 1.2/4
15.  Battlebots (ABC), 1.2/4
15.  The Last Man on Earth-r (Fox), 1.2/4
19.  True Detective* (HBO), 1.1/4
19.  America’s Got Talent, Wednesday-r (NBC), 1.1/4
19.  The Island with Bear Grylls (NBC), 1.1/4
19.  Shark Trek (Discovery), 1.1/4
19.  WWE Raw (USA), 1.1/4

Total Viewers (in millions)
1.  Women’s World Cup final-Sunday (Fox), 25.40
2.  America’s Got Talent (NBC), 10.74
3.  Zoo (CBS), 8.17
4.  NCIS-r (CBS), 7.67
5.  Celebrity Family Feud (ABC), 7.11
6.  The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS), 6.86
7.  American Ninja Warrior (NBC), 6.80
8.  The Bachelorette (ABC), 6.72
9.  60 Minutes (CBS), 6.67
10.  NCIS: Los Angeles-r (CBS), 6.28
11.  NCIS: New Orleans-r (CBS), 6.22
12.  Big Brother-Wednesday (CBS), 5.87
13.  Big Brother-Thursday (CBS), 5.76
14.  Criminal Minds-r (CBS), 5.72
15.  America’s Got Talent, Wednesday-r (NBC), 5.45
16.  Blue Bloods-r (CBS), 5.44
17.  Under the Dome (CBS), 5.28
18.  Extant (CBS), 5.27
19.  Mom (CBS), 5.15
20.  I Can Do That (NBC), 5.07
* not supported by advertising

TOP AD-SUPPORTED SCRIPTED ORIGINALS IN 18-49 (rating)
1.  Zoo (CBS), 1.21
2.  Under the Dome (CBS), 1.04
3.  Wayward Pines (Fox), 0.97
4.  The Haves and the Have Nots (OWN), 0.93
5.  Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family), 0.80
6.  The Whispers (ABC), 0.77
7.  Extant (CBS), 0.75
8.  Astronaut Wives Club (ABC), 0.72
9.  Rizzoli & Isles (TNT), 0.71
10.  Major Crimes (TNT), 0.68

Each 18-49 ratings point represents about 1.27 million viewers

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