The numbers are in, confirming that the women’s World Cup was a big deal for Fox as much as it was a coup for the US team.
It helped that the Americans’ scorching fortnight led to an unprecedented third championship, which meant Fox scored a ratings bonanza for bringing their exploits to US homes.
It nailed down a record 25.4 million viewers in the US final against defending champion Japan, bigger than watched the NBA finale between Golden State and Cleveland (23.3 million) or last year’s World Series playoffs between San Francisco and Kansas (23.5 million).
The number also dwarfed the previous record for a football match when 18.2 million tuned in to see the US men’s team play Portugal in last year’s World Cup, according to Bloomberg which cites a Fox network statement.
That puts women’s soccer in a league previously dominated by men’s sports and makes Fox a winner through to 2026 as exclusive broadcaster of the tournament.
The US beat Japan 5-2 in Vancouver on Sunday, powered by three goals from midfielder Carli Lloyd.
Sunday’s match was a rematch of the 2011 final in Frankfurt which Japan won on penalty kicks.
ESPN broadcast that tournament, which drew 77 percent fewer US viewers.
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