Ratings Roundup: 25.4 Million Tune in for FIFA Women’s World Cup Final on Fox; Tournament Up 21% Over 2011

The U.S. women’s national team’s 5-2 victory over Japan in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup final was the most- watched soccer match in U.S. history, drawing a 12.9 household rating/share and 25.4 million viewers. The match peaked at 30.9 million between 8:30-8:45 PM ET. The 2015 USA-Japan final is the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history, obliterating the previous mark of 18,220,000 set by USA-Portugal during last year’s World Cup group stage match (6/22/15) by +39%. USA-Japan also shatters prior mark for a women’s soccer match, the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final (17,975,000) by +41%. The match beat the audience for the 2011 Women’s World Cup Final, which also featured USA vs. Japan, by +89% (13.5 million). 43.2 million viewers watched all or part of of the final.

The match average audience exceeded every game of the NBA Finals, the 2014-15 broadcast season average of every show in primetime, including Sunday Night Football, and the primetime average of the Sochi Olympic Winter Games. The match delivered the most-watched telecast since the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament championship game on CBS (28.3 million, 4/6/15).

The audience began at 18.2 million viewers at 7:00PM ET and peaked at a tournament-high 30.1 million from 8:30-8:45 PM ET.

Top markets for USA vs. Japan: Kansas City (20.6), followed by St. Louis (20.5), San Diego (19.5), Denver (19.4), Austin (19.1), Seattle (18.3), Washington D.C. and West Palm Beach (18.2), San Francisco and Las Vegas (17.7).  The rating in Kansas City is the highest for any individual market in this tournament.  The previous high was set by Kansas City and St. Louis (9.3) for USA-Germany in the Semifinal…

…As for Fox’s coverage of the entire 2015 tournament, the FIFA Women’s World Cup averaged 1.824 million viewers per each of the tournament’s 52 matches across all networks (FOX, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2), +21% over 1,511,000 averaged on ESPN and ESPN2 for the 32 matches played in 2011.

Top markets for all seven USA matches: St. Louis (8.0), followed by Kansas City (7.5), Washington D.C. (7.3), Austin (6.6), San Diego (6.4), Richmond (6.2), Denver and Baltimore (6.1), Norfolk and West Palm Beach (6.0). Top markets for all 52 matches: St. Louis (1.94), Washington D.C. (1.85), Richmond (1.72), Kansas City (1.65), Sacramento (1.64), Baltimore (1.60), Orlando (1.56), Los Angeles (1.54), San Diego (1.51) and Las Vegas (1.50)…

… TELEMUNDO’S Spanish-language U.S. broadcast of the widely anticipated final match delivered 1.27 million total viewers, up 97% vs. the 2011 U.S. Spanish-language broadcast of the final, becoming the most watched game of a FIFA Women’s World Cup in U.S. Spanish-language TV. The game also delivered 707,000 adults 18-49. Viewership on TELEMUNDO peaked during the final half-hour with 1.67 million viewers. On the digital front, the final match delivered 19,328 livestreams, up 342% from the tournament average.

In addition to Sunday’s record-setter, TELEMUNDO has the second- and fifth-most-watched women’s soccer matches in history including the 2015 Women’s World Cup group stage games featuring Colombia-Mexico (664,000 viewers) and England-Mexico (638,000)…

…The tournament also fared extremely well up north in this year’s host nation, breaking all-time audience records on CTV, TSN, and RDS on its way to becoming the most-watched FIFA Women’s World Cup ever with Canadians consuming more than 69 million hours throughout the tournament. Total viewing of the FIFA Women’s World Cup was nearly four times that of the 2011 tournament.

The tournament’s record audiences continued through its final weekend, with preliminary overnight data from Numeris confirming that the USA’s 5-2 victory over Japan in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final attracted a record average audience of more than 2.1 million viewers, breaking the record for most-watched FIFA Women’s World Cup final ever. The game was also the most-watched program on Canadian television this weekend. Overall, 7.7 million unique Canadian viewers tuned in to watch some or all of the game. Average audience numbers peaked at 2.8 million viewers in the final minute of the game as the USA captured its third FIFA Women’s World Cuptitle.

With an average audience of 3.2 million viewers, the Canada-England quarter-final match ranks as the most-watched FIFA Women’s World Cup game ever. The Canadian national women’s team’s five matches averaged 2.3 million viewers:  Canada-England (Quarter-Final) – 3.2 million;  Canada-Switzerland (Round of 16) – 2.8 million; Canada-New Zealand  (Group Stage) – 2.1 million;   Canada-China (Group Stage) – 1.9 million; Canada-Netherlands (Group Stage) – 1.6 million. Overall, 15 million unique Canadian viewers tuned in to Canada’s five games

20.8 million unique Canadian viewers – or nearly 60% of the country’s population – watched the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Collectively, Canadians consumed 69 million hours of FIFA Women’s World Cup coverage on CTV, TSN, and RDS. 10.1 million unique Canadian female viewers tuned in to CTV, TSN, and RDS to watch live action from the tournament. More than half of all Canadian girls aged 2-17 watched the FIFA Women’s World Cup, up from 29% in 2011…

…On the digital side, FOX Sports GO set a new record with 232,000 unique streamers.  This was the largest authenticated streaming audience in FOX Sports GO history, besting the previous mark set by the USA-Germany semifinal (166,000 unique streamers).  Women’s World Cup matches now comprise FOX Sports GO’s top 5 most-viewed events ever…

…In Canada, the FIFA Women’s World Cup accounted for 6.5 million total page views on TSN.ca. FIFA Women’s World Cup content garnered 748,877 video views on the tournament’s dedicated digital hub, TSN.ca/FIFA.  More than 38,000 live streams of live tournament action were recorded through TSN.ca/FIFA (does not include TSN GO streaming)…

…The 2015 NBA Draft was the most-watched Draft telecast in history. Thursday’s event on ESPN averaged 3,738,000 viewers (P2+), up eight percent from the 2014 NBA Draft. The telecast peaked with 5,131,000 viewers from 8-8:15 p.m. ET. The 2015 NBA Draft was also the highest-rated ever on ESPN, averaging a 2.4 U.S. household rating. This is up four percent from last year’s event. The telecast peaked from 8-8:15 p.m. with a 3.3 rating. The NBA Draft telecast also propelled ESPN to win the night across all of television (broadcast and cable) in several key demos, including P18-34, M18-34, P18-49, M18-49 and M25-54…

… NBC drew a 2.6 overnight rating for its rain-marred return to NASCAR coverage, as the Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 from Daytona Int’l Speedway aired from 11:15pm-2:30am ET yesterday following a three-hour delay. NBC drew a 2.1 overnight for the rain delay coverage from 8:00-11:15pm. (SBD)…

…Regional MLB on FOX games drew a 1.75 overnight rating Saturday night, down 24% from last year, when coverage featured Yankees/Red Sox (2.3), and down 30% from 2013 (2.5). (SMW)

… Friday’s Mets/Dodgers Major League Baseball game, part of a special pre-holiday tripleheader, scored 768,000 viewers on ESPN — the network’s largest weeknight MLB audience since June 1. (More on the triple header at SMW)