Women's World Cup final was most watched in US that did not include American team

Spain's acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez holds the trophy next to Spain's Ivana Andres after their World Cup victory, at La Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023. Spain beat England in Sydney Sunday to win the Women's World Cup soccer final. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Spain’s 1-0 victory over England on Sunday was the most-watched Women’s World Cup final on American television that did not include the United States.

La Roja’s 1-0 victory had a combined English- and Spanish-language audience of 2,059,000 on Fox and Telemundo. While that was a sizable increase over the last time a final did not feature the U.S. — the 2007 final between Germany and Brazil in China averaged 664,000 on ESPN2 — it wasn’t close to the last three finals, which exceeded 13 million.

The 2019 final between the U.S. and the Netherlands in France had a combined audience average of 16.9 million on Fox and Telemundo. This year’s final in Australia marked an 87.8% decline over four years ago.

Fox, which averaged 1,658,000, said its audience peaked at 2.45 million for the final 15 minutes. Telemundo’s average was 401,000 via its linear channel and streaming platforms.

The previous record for a non-U.S. final was in 2003 when 1.2 million watched on ABC as Germany beat Sweden. The tournament took place for the second straight time in the U.S.

The early start time and the Americans’ early exit translated to steep declines in the finals and tournament numbers.

Sunday’s match in Sydney kicked off at 6 a.m. EDT.

Australia and New Zealand are 14-to-16 hours ahead of New York and 17-to-19 hours ahead of Los Angeles. Most of the matches during the tournament, including everything beginning with the quarterfinals, started during overnight hours in the United States.

Even if the U.S. had made a run to a third straight title, the ratings would have been down from 2019 in France and 2015 in Canada.

The tournament’s 64 matches averaged 669,000 viewers on Fox and FS1, a 60% decrease from 2019 (1.66 million).

The Spanish-language average of 167,000 across Telemundo, Peacock, Universo and Telemundo streaming platforms was down 44% from four years ago (302,000). Telemundo did get a boost from Spain’s title run, Colombia advancing to the quarterfinals, and all matches streamed on Peacock.

The Americans' four matches averaged 3,795,000 on Fox, an 2% increase from 2019.

The first two matches took place in prime time. The 1-1 draw against the Netherlands on July 26 was the most-watched U.S. group stage match in Women’s World Cup history, averaging 6,429,000.


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