The numbers are in for FOX’s coverage of the 2015 Women’s World Cup final between the United States and Japan, and the viewing figure of 25.4 million means that it’s the most watched English-language broadcast ever of a soccer game on US television.
The 25.4 million number eclipsed the following previous records:
• the 17.9 million who watched the 1999 Women’s World Cup final between USA and China, which was the previous record for a women’s soccer game (Saturday, July 10, 1999)
• the 18.2 million who watched the 2014 World Cup group stage game between USA and Portugal on ABC (Sunday, June 22, 2014), which was the previous record for the most-watched soccer game on a single US TV broadcast.
According to reports, the viewing figure for USA-Japan Telemundo was 1.27 million, which means that the total combined with FOX was 26.67 million TV viewers, which is greater than the 26,558,000 who watched the 2014 World Cup between Germany-Argentina on ABC/Univision.
That means that the game has broken the record for the most-watched US game (men’s or women’s) on US television history, which is the 25.5 million who watched the USA-Portugal game on ESPN and Univision in the 2014 World Cup.
When you factor online streaming into the number, the 2014 World Cup final between Argentina and Germany had a combined total of 27,314,274 viewers. We’ll have to wait and see if the FOX and Telemundo streaming numbers help the USA-Japan game beat Argentina-Germany overall.
SEE MORE — Review of FOX’s Women’s World Cup coverage.
How does the 25.4 million number compare to other US sports? The 2014 World Series’ Game 7 attracted 23.5 million viewers was far more than any other game of the 2014 series, but still didn’t beat US soccer.
Still, there’s no doubt that this is a major milestone in the history of soccer on US television and it yet again puts soccer on the map in the United States to rival the traditional sports.