The Numbers Are In for the Most-Watched Soccer Match in U.S. History — and They’re Mighty Impressive

Jul 6, 2015  •  Post A Comment

Nielsen has crunched the numbers on the FIFA Women’s World Cup final, in which Team USA blew out Japan 5-2, and the game is officially the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history.

The match, carried by Fox, averaged 25.4 million total viewers, peaking with 30.9 million between 8:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. ET, Fox Sports announced.

The match, in which the U.S. women’s team won its first World Cup title since 1999, delivered a 12.9 household rating.

Among the highlights noted by Fox:

  • The 2015 USA-Japan final is the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history, obliterating the previous mark of 18,220,000 set by USA-Portugal during last year’s World Cup group stage match (6/22/15) by +39%.
  • USA-Japan also shatters prior mark for a women’s soccer match, the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final (17,975,000) by +41%.
  • The match beat the audience for the 2011 Women’s World Cup Final, which also featured USA vs. Japan, by +89% (13.5 million).
  • Last night’s match average audience exceeded every game of the NBA Finals, the 2014-15 broadcast season average of every show in primetime, including Sunday Night Football, and the primetime average of the Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
  • Last night’s match delivered the most-watched telecast since the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament championship game on CBS (28.3 million, 4/6/15).
  • 43.2 million viewers watched all or part of last night’s final.
  • The audience began at 18.2 million viewers at 7 p.m. ET and peaked at a tournament-high 30.1 million from 8:30-8:45 p.m. ET.
  • FOX Sports GO set a new record with 232,000 unique streamers. This was the largest authenticated streaming audience in FOX Sports GO history, besting the previous mark set by the USA-Germany semifinal (166,000 unique streamers). Women’s World Cup matches now comprise FOX Sports GO’s top 5 most-viewed events ever.
  • Top markets for USA vs. Japan: Kansas City (20.6), followed by St. Louis (20.5), San Diego (19.5), Denver (19.4), Austin (19.1), Seattle (18.3), Washington D.C. and West Palm Beach (18.2), San Francisco and Las Vegas (17.7). The rating in Kansas City is the highest for any individual market in this tournament. The previous high was set by Kansas City and St. Louis (9.3) for USA-Germany in the Semifinal.

FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP 2015 summary:

  • The 2015 tournament averaged 1.824 million viewers per each of the tournament’s 52 matches across all networks (FOX, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2), +21% over 1,511,000 averaged on ESPN and ESPN2 for the 32 matches played in 2011.
  • Top markets for all seven USA matches: St. Louis (8.0), followed by Kansas City (7.5), Washington D.C. (7.3), Austin (6.6), San Diego (6.4), Richmond (6.2), Denver and Baltimore (6.1), Norfolk and West Palm Beach (6.0).
  • Top markets for all 52 matches: St. Louis (1.94), Washington D.C. (1.85), Richmond (1.72), Kansas City (1.65), Sacramento (1.64), Baltimore (1.60), Orlando (1.56), Los Angeles (1.54), San Diego (1.51) and Las Vegas (1.50).

Note: All comparisons are based on single-net English language viewership.

fifa women's world cup 2015

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