Despite having a less than favorable time window that featured most games during office hours, as well as zero games featuring the US Men’s National Team and a competition that ran 19 games longer than Copa America Centenario, ESPN’s live coverage of Euro 2016 averaged 997,392 viewers compared to FOX Sports’ average of 1,002,226 for the 2016 Copa America.
Compared to Euro 2012, ESPN’s viewing numbers were down 23% from the Euro 2012 average of 1.3 million viewers per game. Certainly, Copa America divided the attention of many soccer fans. But also Euro 2016’s 20 more games than Euro 2012 was a factor as well as the growing trend of consumers switching to soccer streaming services (where the numbers aren’t reflected in TV viewing numbers).
A few other interesting data points from our research include:
• The Euro 2016 final between France and Portugal averaged 1,541,000 more viewers than the Copa America Centenario final between Argentina and Chile. (The 2016 Copa America final averaged 2,997,000 viewers compared to 4,536,000 for the Euro 2016 final).
• In light of the USA participating in Copa America, which certainly skewed the numbers, FOX Sports’ viewing average for Copa America Centenario minus the games when the USMNT played was 761,360 viewers.
• Out of all of the games shown live, 39% of ESPN’s Euro 2016 matches exceeded 1 million viewers compared to 31% of FOX’s coverage.
• Taking Univision’s Spanish-language coverage into consideration in addition to FOX’s coverage of Copa America, the Copa America Centenario games averaged 4 million viewers compared to the average of 1.16 million viewers for ESPN (English-language) and ESPN Deportes (Spanish-language) combined.
• For the Euro 2016 final, ESPN Deportes’ 1,361,000 average is the most-watched program in the network’s history.
Here are the English-language viewing figures for Copa America on FOX vs. Euro 2016 on ESPN:
Note: For the number crunchers, the one missing TV viewing number (see below) was the Chile-Bolivia game on FOX. If we estimate that the viewing audience for that game was 710,000 based on the same audience for Jamaica-Venezuela the previous week, the viewing average for FOX’s entire Copa America coverage was 993,000 while ESPN averaged 997,000.
|COPA AMERICA||EURO 2016|
|Teams||Channel||Viewing avg.||Teams||Channel||Viewing avg.|
|USA vs. Colombia||FS1||1,536,000||France vs. Romania||ESPN2||665,000|
|Costa Rica vs. Paraguay||FOX||731,000||Albania vs. Switzerland||ESPN||682,000|
|Haiti vs. Peru||FS2||138,000||Wales vs. Slovakia||ESPN||936,000|
|Brazil vs. Ecuador||FS1||598,000||England vs. Russia||ESPN||1,402,000|
|Jamaica vs. Venezuela||FOX||710,000||Croatia vs. Turkey||ESPN||692,000|
|Mexico vs. Uruguay||FS1||619,000||Poland vs. N. Ireland||ESPN||1,055,000|
|Panama vs. Bolivia||FS1||365,000||Germany vs. Ukraine||ESPN||1,259,000|
|Argentina vs. Chile||FS1||862,000||Spain vs. Czech Republic||ESPN||459,000|
|USA vs. Costa Rica||FS1||1,600,000||Ireland vs. Sweden||ESPN||660,000|
|Colombia vs. Paraguay||FS1||739,000||Belgium vs. Italy||ESPN||972,000|
|Brazil vs. Haiti||FS1||624,000||Austria vs. Hungary||ESPN||551,000|
|Ecuador vs. Peru||FS2||148,000||Portugal vs. Iceland||ESPN||1,072,000|
|Uruguay vs. Venezuela||FS1||589,000||Russia vs. Slovakia||ESPN||367,000|
|Mexico vs. Jamaica||FS1||779,000||Romania vs. Switzerland||ESPN||502,000|
|Chile vs. Bolivia||FOX||Not available||France vs. Albania||ESPN||804,000|
|Argentina vs. Panama||FOX||1,150,000||England vs. Wales||ESPN||617,000|
|USA vs. Paraguay||FS1||2,061,000||Ukraine vs. N. Ireland||ESPN||484,000|
|Colombia vs. Costa Rica||FS2||407,000||Germany vs. Poland||ESPN||924,000|
|Ecuador vs. Haiti||FS2||267,000||Italy vs. Sweden||ESPN||612,000|
|Brazil vs. Peru||FS1||879,000||Croatia vs. Czech Republic||ESPN||535,000|
|Mexico vs. Venezuela||FS1||763,000||Spain vs. Turkey||ESPN||869,000|
|Uruguay vs. Jamaica||FS1||392,000||Belgium vs. Ireland||ESPN||825,000|
|Chile vs. Panama||FS1||665,000||Iceland vs. Hungary||ESPN||1,086,000|
|Argentina vs. Bolivia||FS1||770,000||Portugal vs. Austria||ESPN||1,289,000|
|USA vs. Ecuador||FS1||1,878,000||Switzerland vs. France||ESPN||1,070,000|
|Colombia vs. Peru||FS1||734,000||Romania vs. Albania||ESPN2||221,000|
|Argentina vs. Venezuela||FX||1,035,000||Slovakia vs. England||ESPN||836,000|
|Mexico vs. Chile||FX||1,102,000||Russia vs. Wales||ESPN2||265,000|
|USA vs. Argentina||FS1||3,290,000||N Ireland vs. Germany||ESPN||624,000|
|Colombia vs. Chile||FS1||971,000||Poland vs. Ukraine||ESPN2||180,000|
|USA vs. Colombia||FX||1,670,000||Croatia vs. Spain||ESPN||811,000|
|Argentina vs. Chile||FS1||2,997,000||Czech Republic vs. Turkey||ESPN2||203,000|
|AVERAGE||1,002,226||Hungary vs. Portugal||ESPN||702,000|
|Iceland vs. Austria||ESPN2||190,000|
|Ireland vs. Italy||ESPN||648,000|
|Belgium vs. Sweden||ESPN2||377,000|
|Switzerland vs Poland||ESPN||821,000|
|Wales vs. N. Ireland||ESPN||1,451,000|
|Croatia vs. Portugal||ESPN||1,648,000|
|France vs. Ireland||ESPN||1,156,000|
|Germany vs. Slovakia||ESPN||1,593,000|
|Belgium vs. Hungary||ESPN||1,453,000|
|Italy vs. Spain||ESPN2||971,000|
|England vs. Iceland||ESPN2||1,352,000|
|Poland vs. Portugal||ESPN2||1,271,000|
|Wales vs. Belgium||ESPN2||1,327,000|
|Germany vs. Italy||ESPN||2,194,000|
|France vs. Iceland||ESPN||1,894,000|
|Portugal vs. Wales||ESPN||1,701,000|
|Germany vs. France||ESPN||2,051,000|
|France vs. Portugal||ESPN||4,538,000|