The U.S. national women’s soccer team achieved a spectacular World Cup repeat yesterday, beating the Netherlands in a tense final in Lyon, France, and the game also provided a strong finish for Fox in the ratings.
Sunday’s final was one of the most watched soccer games in U.S. history, drawing a total of around 14.3 million viewers on Fox (including streaming), beating last year’s men’s final, which was watched by 11.4 million, by 22%. The U.S. victory posted a 10.0 overnight metered market rating, up 20% on the 2018 finale.
The final was also broadcast on Telemundo Deportes where it posted historic figures, averaging 1.6 million viewers. That figure makes it the most watched Women’s World Cup match ever on Spanish-language TV, surpassing the 2015 final, which averaged 1.27 million viewers, by 22%.
However, Sunday’s affair still fell comfortably short of the viewership benchmark set by the 2015 final against Japan, which turned out to be the most watched soccer match in U.S. history with 25.4 million total viewers. It’s worth noting that the 2015 games aired in primetime due to the tournament being held in Canada.
After a cagey first half on Sunday which saw the U.S. unable to put the ball past the Dutch goalkeeper, the defending Women’s World Cup champions came out firing in the second half, scoring two goals to emerge victorious. The first was a penalty converted by captain Megan Rapinoe, who has captured the hearts of many on social media with her honest interviews and trademark celebration pose, while the second came courtesy of a tidy finish from midfielder Rose Lavelle. The Netherlands found no answer, meaning that the U.S. women’s team lifted the World Cup trophy for the fourth time in their history.
This tournament has been setting ratings records not only in the U.S., but also around the world. For instance in the U.K., the semifinal between England and the U.S. team in Lyon garnered 11.7 million viewers and a 50.8% share of viewing, meaning it achieved the highest peak audience of 2019.