Data: US World Cup audience wanes
August 22, 2023
US football fans were initially eager to cheer on team USA during the Women’s World Cup this summer, particularly at the start of the tournament. Some 4.4 million US households tuned-in to the team’s first game against Vietnam, which aired on Fox at 9pm EST on July 21st. Later games that team USA played in had the disadvantage of early airtimes, such as the team’s final game against Sweden, which aired at 5am EST on August 6th. Nonetheless, that game garnered 1.5 million household tune-ins.
The USA were knocked out in the Round of 16, losing a penalty shootout against Sweden, which saw interest in the tournament drop.
The finals game between England and Spain garnered just 1.1 million household tune-ins in the US – about 360k less than the last game team USA played in against Sweden. The finals game aired at 6am EST.
Asian households were particularly invested in the tournament, over-indexing between 30 per cent -50 per cent across team USA’s first game, last game, as well as the finals. The strongest over-index was during the finals at +49 per cent.
From an age perspective, older millennial and Gen X households showed interest in the tournament. Households A45-55 over-indexed by 8 per cent on the finals, and households A35-44 over-indexed by 3 per cent.
Cole Strain, VP of Measurement Products at Samba TV, commented: “As we saw with the Olympics last year, global events like the World Cup are an effective platform to capture audiences around the world, with this year’s games providing yet another great snapshot at the growing viewership momentum for women’s sports on TV. While there was a significant dip in viewership between the US team’s first game against Vietnam, with 4.4 million US households tuning in, and the team’s last game against Sweden, with 1.5 million households watching, a likely contributor was the timing of the matchups, with many airing at 5 a.m. ET. This is even more interesting when we look at the final between England and Spain where 1.1 million US households watched between 6 a.m. ET and 11 a.m. ET, showing that fans were eager to tune in to the Sunday game despite its early airtime and the U.S. having long been eliminated.”