TV Ratings: World Cup Final Drops 32 Percent From 2014, Posts Fox Best

Sunday’s relatively early coverage of the France-Croatia match tops the weekend.
Shaun Botterill/gettyimages

The 2018 World Cup is all over. And despite significant early ratings fatigue compared to the 2014 tournament, Sunday’s final was ultimately down a steep 32 percent in final returns.

Nielsen Media gives Fox’s coverage of the France-Croatia final 11.8 million viewers, off significantly from the 17.3 million viewers who tuned into ABC and ESPN for the 2014 match. Earlier returns were much more optimistic. The game had posted a 8.3 overnight rating among households, down only 15 percent from the comparable 9.7 overnight rating in 2014.

Coverage of Sunday's match, which aired at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT, peaked at a 10.0 overnight rating. That was down 30 percent from the comparable peak in 2014. The fact that France’s victory was a relatively decisive one likely didn’t help viewer retention. With a final score of 4-2, and a brief advantage of three goals, it was hardly the nail-biter of 2014. Germany took that game 1-zip over Argentina.

Compared to 2010, when Spain and the Netherlands played the final in South Africa, Sunday’s ratings were only only down a scant 3 percent.

Through the round of 16, Fox Sports’ World Cup coverage was down 19 percent from the comparable showing on ESPN in 2014 and improved from 2010. Final averages for both are expected this week.

Viewership and ratings for Telemundo, which carried Spanish-language coverage of the final, were not immediately available.