Though the match wasn’t particularly close, Fox’s broadcast of the United States/Japan World Cup final set a ratings record for any soccer game, with the number of viewers peaking in the final 15 minutes of play.
The numbers are pretty stunning: the match averaged a 12.9 household rating/share with 25.4 million viewers, and peaked at 30.9 million between 8:30-8:45 PM ET. Interestingly, the number of viewers was strongest not on either coast, but in the heartland and West. To put the numbers into perspective: 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. From 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 7:00PM ET and peaked at a tournament-high 30.1 million from 8:30-8:45 PM 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.
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