TV Ratings: World Cup Coverage Hits Fox Sports High

'Big Brother' goes it alone in primetime for CBS.
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The real marquee event of the 2018 World Cup to date may be the Monday morning Brazil-Mexico matchup, but ratings — at least for English-language coverage — already hit a high on Sunday afternoon.

Fox Sports' coverage of Croatia's Round of 16 win over Denmark powered Fox Sport to its personal World Cup best thus far. The game averaged a 4.6 overnight rating among households, eclipsing the day's Spain-Russia game by 12 percent. Telemundo numbers for Spanish-speaking coverage have yet to come in, though they are likely to be dwarfed by whatever the tune-in happens to be for Brazil vs. Mexico.

Returns for Fox Sports' coverage of the weekend games are a welcome uptick from some of the fatigued showings earlier in the Russia-hosted soccer tournament. Through the first week of World Cup, ratings were down nearly 40 percent compared to the 2014 averages on ESPN and Univision.

The Russian time zone issue is keeping coverage out of primetime, which meant the usual Sunday lineup had little to compete with last night — not that there was much going on. Big Brother aired its first Sunday episode of the summer on CBS, winning the night but still down from the comparable showing in 2017. The one-hour episode averaged a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 4.9 million viewers, while a new episode of Instinct sputtered with a 0.4 rating in the key demo.

Elsewhere, Fox put out a new episode of science special One Strange Rock (0.3 adults) and NBC offered up another episode of Shades of Blue's final season to the tune of a 0.5 rating in the key demo.