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Volume 26 No. 64
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World Cup Audience Down 9%, Effected By Time Zone Difference

After being in positive territory for much of the tournament, Fox Sports’ average viewership for the complete '19 FIFA Women’s World Cup across Fox, FS1 and FS2 was down 9% compared to '15, when there were more favorable broadcast windows from the event in Canada. This year’s event averaged a total audience delivery of 1.66 million viewers, compared to 1.82 million four years ago. Still, this year’s tournament from France was up 10% from eight years ago in Germany (1.51 million), which had similar morning and afternoon windows. World Cup viewership was up around 6% headed into Sunday’s championship, which saw the USWNT defeat the Netherlands (14.27 million viewers). While that figure was good enough to rank as the third-best women’s soccer audience in U.S. history, it was down 44% from the U.S.-Japan finale four years ago (25.4 million), which remains the most-watched soccer match of any kind in the U.S. That decline proved to be a game changer for Fox’ overall numbers. The network did see a 6% gain compared to ESPN’s broadcast of the Japan-U.S. title match eight years ago. Meanwhile, Telemundo saw a gain for its coverage of both U.S.-Netherlands and the complete World Cup. Sunday’s match on the Spanish-language network (1.6 million viewers) was up 26% from four years ago, and up 148% from Univision eight years ago. Telemundo also averaged 301,000 viewers for the complete tourney, up 27% from Canada four years ago (Austin Karp, THE DAILY).

MOST-VIEWED WOMEN'S SOCCER MATCHES IN THE U.S.
DATE
MATCH
NETWORK
VIEWERS (000)
7/5/15
FIFA World Cup final: U.S.-Japan
Fox
25,400
7/10/99
FIFA World Cup final: U.S.-China
ABC
17,975
7/7/19
FIFA World Cup final: U.S.-Netherlands
Fox
14,271
7/17/11
FIFA World Cup final: Japan-U.S.
ESPN
13,458
6/30/15
FIFA World Cup semifinal: U.S.-Germany
Fox
8,400
Download the
Chart

EVERYTHING'S BIGGER: In Austin, Chris Bils notes just as it had all tournament long, the city "reaffirmed its obsession" with the Women's World Cup. Austin had an average 2.2 rating for all 52 matches across the Fox networks, "higher than any other city." Bils notes the crowds that showed up at bars around Austin for each U.S. match "didn't count toward the TV ratings numbers, but they certainly helped drive interest." For the previous Women’s World Cup, Austin ranked 12th overall in viewership (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 7/9).

PROPER PRICING: AD AGE's Anthony Crupi wrote given that there was "almost no chance that this year’s final would exceed the turnout of four years ago, Fox priced its inventory accordingly." According to buyers, the "average unit cost for an in-game spot in the U.S.-Netherlands match came in between $200,000 and $225,000 a pop, well shy of the going rate" for the '15 final -- $369,574 per 30-second spot (ADAGE.com, 7/8).