The thrilling 2022 World Cup Final that saw Argentina triumph over France was a triumph for broadcasters as well. The match turned out to be the second most-watched soccer game in US television and streaming history.

The game itself was one of the most exciting, memorable contests ever. A raucous France comeback from 2-0 down late in the second half. Two goals from Messi (plus a penalty shootout goal). Mbappé netting a hat trick, including the game-tying penalty goal in the 118th minute. This match had the entire world struggling to catch their collective breath over the final 30 minutes of action. Argentina and France certainly delivered a game worthy of attracting so many eyeballs.

Earlier reports had the total viewership clocking in at just under 26 million. But those numbers included the pre-game and post-game coverage time slots on FOX. When measured as just the game itself, whistle-to-whistle, the final figures from FOX, Telemundo and streaming platforms eclipsed 26 million viewers:

English TV (FOX)17,726,000
Spanish TV (Telemundo)6,040,000
Spanish Streaming (Peacock)2,960,000

2022 World Cup final the second most-watched ever

That staggering total figure almost beat out the 2014 Final (Argentina vs. Germany in Brazil) which drew a similarly massive 27.314 million across ESPN and Univision. While that game eight years ago saw Messi and Argentina fall just short, perhaps the allure of what could be the legendary #10’s final World Cup match drew in that many more casual viewers.

While the 2022 World Cup Final was second most-watched ever, all eyes now turn towards World Cup 2026 and the 48-team North American World Cup in the USA, Mexico and Canada – which will surely set some records of its own. You would have to expect many of the Group Stage games to be in the tens of millions due to the more convenient kickoff times and increased interest.