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Volume 25 No. 61
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First World Cup Effort For Fox, Telemundo Down From Past Events

For the 64 matches across Fox and FS1, the World Cup averaged 2.72 million viewers
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The ‘18 FIFA World Cup was down on both Fox Sports and Telemundo compared to the event in ’14 and ’10, which aired on ESPN/ABC and Univision. For the 64 matches across Fox and FS1, the World Cup averaged 2.72 million viewers, down 33% from four years ago in Brazil (4.03 million viewers) and down 9% from 2.97 million viewers eight years ago in South Africa. Both ’14 and ’10 featured four matches involving the USMNT. The ’14 event also had better time slots for the event, which matched up closely with the East Coast of the U.S. Those viewership figures reflect windows with portions of the pre-game, as that is how it was sold to advertisers. Using match-only viewership, as has been reported for prior World Cups, Fox Sports averaged 2.98 million viewers for all 64 matches, down 35% from ’14 and down 9% from ’10. Meanwhile, Fox Sports’ English-Language broadcasts saw a larger lead over Spanish-language games on Telemundo when compared to ESPN vs. Univision in prior years. The Fox Sports World Cup games were 40% higher than Telemundo, which compares to a 24% gap between ESPN and Univision in both ’14 and ’10. Looking at Telemundo’s World Cup coverage, the network averaged 2.06 million viewers for 64 matches, down around 40% from Univision/UniMas four years ago, and down around 20% from ’10. When TAD is factored in, Telemundo claims its World Cup audience runs up to 2.3 million viewers (a bump of around 11%). Some Telemundo games had streaming bumps of nearly 20%, such as the France-Belgium semifinal. There also were 18% streaming bumps for the France-Uruguay quarterfinal and the Brazil-Mexico Round of 16 game.

FIFA WORLD CUP VIEWERSHIP (OVER 64 MATCH-ONLY FIGURES)
YEAR
ENGLISH NETS
VIEWERS (000)
SPANISH NETS
VIEWERS (000)
'18
Fox/FS1
2,979
Telemundo
2,060
'14
ABC/ESPN/ESPN2
4,560
Univision/UniMas
3,500
'10
ABC/ESPN/ESPN2
3,273
Univision/UniMas
2,600
'06
ABC/ESPN/ESPN2
2,321
Univision/UniMas
2,100
'02
ABC/ESPN/ESPN2
1,043
Univision/UniMas
987
'98
ABC/ESPN/ESPN2
1,222
Univision/UniMas
1,300
'94
ABC/ESPN/ESPN2
2,801
Univision/UniMas
1,400
Download the
World Cup Viewership Trend

BLEU MAN GROUP: The France-Croatia final on Sunday drew a TAD of around 13 million viewers on Fox (match only figure), which is down from the TV-only figure of 17.49 million viewers for Germany-Argentina on ABC four years ago. Fox’ TV-only figure for the match was 12.51 million viewers. The final four years ago remains the best World Cup final ever on U.S. TV and third best soccer audience ever. The ’10 final featuring Spain-Netherlands averaged 15.55 million viewers on ABC (TV-only figure). Meanwhile, Telemundo averaged a TAD of 5.45 million viewers for France-Croatia, down from a TV-only figure of 8.52 million viewers four years ago on Univision.

FEVER PITCH: The Croatia-Russia quarterfinal match July 7 was the “most-exciting match” of the ’18 World Cup, according to measurements from sports video production outfit Thuuz Sports, which worked with Fox for the tourney. Thuuz measured real time global event excitement with partner Fox Sports, and it was determined that Spain and Croatia were the most-exciting teams throughout the tournament. The measurement scores were done on a 0-100 scale and take into consideration game pace, team parity, play novelty, momentum shifts, social buzz and historical context. Just behind Croatia-Russia in terms of exciting matches were Belgium-Japan, Belgium-Brazil, England-Colombia and Spain-Portugal, respectively.