- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
The final game of the 2022 men’s World Cup drew one of the biggest audiences ever for a soccer match in the United States.
Argentina’s shootout victory over France averaged 25.78 million viewers Sunday morning, the most ever for a men’s match in the U.S. Fox Sports drew 16.78 million viewers, and Telemundo’s Spanish-language telecast, which also streamed on Peacock, had 9 million cross-platform viewers.
Fox’s telecast of the final, including pre- and post-match coverage, was by itself the biggest ever tally for a men’s match in the United States, passing the 15.49 million for the U.S.-England match earlier in the tournament. NBCUniversal, meanwhile, says a third of Telemundo’s 9 million viewers watched via streaming, making the final the most streamed soccer match ever in the United States, regardless of language.
Combining all outlets, the 25.78 million viewers ranks second of all time for any soccer match in the United States behind the 2015 women’s World Cup final. That match drew a combined 26.7 million viewers — 25.4 million on Fox and 1.3 million on Telemundo. The 2015 tally also doesn’t include out-of-home viewing, which Nielsen began adding to same-day totals in 2020. Streaming options were minimal then as well.
Argentina won its third World Cup in a penalty shootout after a thrilling 3-3 match with France that saw the latter, the defending champions, twice come back from deficits behind a hat trick by Kylian Mbappé. The win is Argentina’s first World Cup since 1986 and the first for Lionel Messi, one of the game’s all-time greats. Messi also won the Golden Ball trophy as the tournament’s outstanding player.
Sunday’s final continued the upward trend in TV viewing for the 2022 World Cup. The group stage averaged about 5.6 million viewers across Fox Sports and Telemundo/Peacock, with Fox’s English-language broadcasts up 38 percent over 2018.
The boost for the group stage was due in part to the presence of the U.S. team, which didn’t qualify in 2018. Even after the Americans lost in the round of 16, however, viewing numbers stayed high. The quarterfinals averaged 10.4 million U.S. viewers, and the two semifinals each drew more than 11 million across all of Fox’s and NBCUniversal’s platforms. Fox’s semifinal telecasts improved by 26 percent over 2018, and with the addition of Peacock, Telemundo’s Spanish-language presentations grew by even bigger margins.
Fox’s telecast also outdrew NFL games on CBS (14.83 million for its early broadcast window on Sunday) and NBC (15.38 million for Sunday Night Football). The cross-platform audience was bigger than any NFL game over the weekend.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day