Ratings continue to rise for the FIFA Women’s Cup, with Tuesday’s semifinal between USA and Germany on Fox drawing 8.4 million viewers — the third largest audience ever for an English-language telecast of women’s soccer in the States.
According to Nielsen, the only bigger crowds for women’s soccer have been the USA-China Women’s World Cup Final in 1999 on ABC (17.97 million) and the USA-Japan matchup in the 2011 World Cup Final on ESPN (13.46 million). The all-time English-language soccer high in the U.S. came last year for USA’s match against Portugal in the Men’s World Cup on ESPN (18.22 million).
Last night’s average audience continued the trend of increased viewership with each advancing stage. The previous high for this year’s tournament was USA’s game against China in the quarterfinals (5.7 million).
The top 10 markets for USA-Germany on Fox’s stations were Kansas City and St. Louis (both 9.3), followed by Washington, D.C. (9.0), Austin (7.8), Cincinnati and Columbus (both 7.4), Boston (7.1), Detroit (7.0), San Diego (6.9) and New York (6.8)
The six USA matches on Fox and Fox Sports 1 have averaged 5.3 million viewers, more than double the 2011 tournament average through the semifinals (2.4 million on ESPN). The 2015 Women’s World Cup is averaging 1.306 million viewers per match across all Fox networks (Fox, FS1 and FS2), a 45% improvement over the 899,000 averaged on ESPN and ESPN2 through the first semifinal in 2011.
Fox will conclude its first World Cup coverage on Sunday when the U.S. Women’s National Team takes on the winner of tonight’s Japan-England match in Vancouver. Telemundo will broadcast the game as well, marking the first time in eight years that the Women’s World Cup final will be shown live on Spanish-language network TV.