July 6, 2015
By Charles Cuttone
SHATTERING THE MARK
Women's World Cup final most watched soccer game ever
The fact that America loves a winner can be reflected in the television audience for Sunday’s Women’s World Cup final, where, powered by a Carli Lloyd hat trick, the United States defeated Japan 5-2. The game set a record as the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history, according to Nielsen.
The match posted a prodigious 12.9 household rating/share with 25.4 million viewers on FOX, and peaked at 30.9 million between 8:30-8:45 PM ET.
An additional 1.27 million total viewers watched the game on Telemundo, while 232,000 logged on to FOX’s internet stream of the game.
A total of 43.2 million viewers watched all or part of the FOX telecast. The audience began at 18.2 million viewers at 7:00PM ET and peaked at a tournament-high 30.1 million from 8:30-8:45 PM ET.
Viewership on Telemundo peaked during the final half-hour with 1.67 million viewers.
The FOX telecast numbers topped by 39% the audience for the previous most watched-game, 18,220,000 set by last year’s USA-Portugal World Cup group stage match.
USA-Japan also shattered the prior mark for a women’s soccer match, the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final (17,975,000), by +41%, and beat the audience for the 2011 Women’s World Cup Final, which also featured USA vs. Japan, by +89% (13.5 million).
Other than the Super Bowl, which dwarfs all other television ratings, the BCS College Football Championship and the NCAA Men’s Basketball final, Sunday’s game was the fourth-most-watched sporting event of the year.
The game’s 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.
Other ratings highlights:
Top markets for USA vs. Japan were: 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.
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).