Despite the various controversies surrounding the 2022 World Cup, interest in the event is high, even in the U.S. where the men’s team is a decided underdog.
But that underdog status didn’t keep U.S. viewers away from their TV sets on Black Friday host broadcaster Fox Sports announced that the England v. USA World Cup game drew more than 15.3 million viewers to the match, which ended in a draw, and setting a new record for the most-watched men’s soccer match on U.S. television.
The number beat the previous match, which held the record for almost three decades when 14.51 million watched Brazil win the 1994 World Cup over Italy in a final that was played in the U.S. According to Fox Sports, viewership peaked around the 3:30 p.m. ET mark with 19.64 million viewers.
The top markets were Kansas City, Hartford, Boston, Dallas and Washington D.C.
The record viewership number is notable considering that for the first time in recent history, the World Cup is being held during the NFL and college football seasons, creating what would be considered outsized competition for viewers. However, Fox Sports’ average NFL viewership so far this season is only slightly higher at 15.5 million.
In the U.K., the match attracted an average 15.1 million viewers with 18 million viewing at the peak time, making it the host broadcaster iTV's most viewed program of 2022 so far.
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Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.
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