OLBG compiled data on US television ratings for recent major sports championships to see how the Men’s World Cup ranks in popularity against some of the most anticipated sporting events. – Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images
Despite being the most-watched sporting event globally, the FIFA Men’s World Cup doesn’t attract as many American viewers as other sports competitions, but that could change by the end of 2022. After a drop in viewership during the Cup 2018 Men’s World Cup, Qualifications are expected to pick up in 2022 as the USA will be part of the field.
While other athletic events are embedded in American sports culture, the US is still exploring “the beautiful game.” To find out how the audience compares in different professional sports, OLBG collected US television ratings data for several recent major championship events.
In 2018, the US men’s national team went on hiatus from the tournament in Russia due to failing to qualify, but before that, there was a sizable jump in US viewership that could be a sign of the growing popularity of the game. sport. In 2014, an additional 2.4 million American viewers watched the tournament in Brazil, the only country with five World Cup trophies. The Men’s World Cup will be played for the 22nd time in 2022. Viewership ratings will tell if the drama of international soccer and the chance to go further in the tournament than ever before are enough to attract more Americans.
Read on to find out how viewership for America’s beloved sporting events compares to the FIFA Men’s World Cup, and whether the global soccer tournament can earn a prominent place among our most anticipated competitions.
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FIFA Men’s World Cup 2018
– Spectators (Fox Sports and Telemundo average): 5 million
It was clear that many Americans weren’t interested in the 2018 Russia Men’s World Cup without a home team to root for. This was the first time since 1986 that the United States had not qualified for the cup.
Sports Media Watch Reported Ratings plummeted 37% since 2014 when the US qualified for the tournament; only 5 million viewers tuned in on Fox Sports and Telemundo. They also noted that Telemundo’s viewership ratings fell 41% from 2014 to 2018, despite Mexico playing four games, including a stellar group stage performance that crushed the former German champions 1-0.
Despite the drop in average audience ratings on Fox Sports and Telemundo in 2018, four years before a average of 8.1 million people in the US watched every game in Brazil, proving that more Americans want to see their men’s national team compete on the world stage.
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World Series 2021
– Spectators (average of six games): 11.8 million
After taking a hit during the shortened 2020 MLB season due to the pandemic, ratings rebounded with 11.8 million Americans watching the Atlanta Braves’ 2021 World Series victory over the Houston Astros. . CNBC reported that in 2020, an average of 9.7 million viewers saw the Los Angeles Dodgers win the series for the first time in more than three decades, but the final game of the 2021 World Series drew a lot more fans. A total of 14.3 million people tuned in.
While viewership has rebounded for the last championship, excluding the pandemic season, the ratings for the World Series show a downward trend. There were an average of 14 million viewers in 2018, 13 million in 2019, and 11.8 million in 2021.
The World Series has provided American sports fans with unforgettable moments, like Reggie Jackson hitting three home runs to lead the Yankees to the 1977 championship, or when Bill Mazeroski hit the only walkoff home run in the deciding Game 7 of the World Series. 1960. Series. But with seemingly fewer viewers over time, more American viewers may be open to an additional pastime that only happens once every four years: the Men’s World Cup.
Elsa // Getty Images
NBA Finals 2022
– Spectators (average of six games): 12.4 million
An average of 12.4 million people. watched the 2022 NBA Finals, an increase of 22% compared to the audience for the previous year’s Finals. Stephen Curry decisively secured 34 points, seven assists and seven rebounds to help the Golden State Warriors defeat the Celtics 103-90, and the audience during this final game peaked at 16.9 million.
World Cup viewership has the potential to surpass that of other major sporting events, including the NBA Finals. According to Sports Media Watch, 18.2 million viewers He connected to see the US take on Portugal in a 2014 group stage match that, despite ending in a tie, had all the action and twists and turns you’d expect in a World Cup match. More people watched the game than any NBA Finals game that year.
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Stanley Cup Finals 2022
– Viewers (average): 4.6 million
Like football, hockey generally feels somewhat ancillary within the context of American sports. The 2022 Stanley Cup Finals drew a average audience of 4.6 million. It was less than the 2019 finals before the pandemic, which drew an average of 5.5 million viewers, as well as the 2014 Men’s World Cup, when the US participated and 8.06 million Americans tuned in.
There is some hope in the recent viewing numbers. The 2022 Stanley Cup Finals showed an 84% increase in average viewership compared to the COVID-affected finals of the previous year. ESPN announced that an average of 5.8 million viewers watched the Colorado Avalanche take home the 2022 Stanley Cup after beating the back-to-back defending champions Tampa Bay Lightning. In particular, they added that the female audience for the 2022 playoffs was up 64% over the 2021 Stanley Cup.
Andrew Redington // Getty Images
– Spectators (final round): 10.2 million
More than 10 million people watched Scottie Scheffler four-putt his way to the 2022 Master’s Championship and a coveted green jacket. It was the most watched golf broadcast in three years since Tiger won the tournament in 2019. According to SportsPro Media, the the audience in 2022 was 7% higher than in 2021 and peaked at 13.2 million viewers. There were plenty of surprises in Augusta during the 2022 Masters, including Tiger Woods’ return to a major championship for the first time just 14 months after his 2021 car accident.
Naomi Baker – FIFA // Getty Images
2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final
– Viewers (Fox average): 15.6 million
There was 15.6 million people who tuned in to watch the US women’s team beat the Netherlands to become the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup champions. The sizable audience proved that US sports fans are eager to see a team talented to wear red, white and blue and win games on the pitch, or at least participate.
Fortunately for those soccer fans, USA. The US embarks on another World Cup journey to close out 2022. Head coach Gregg Berhalter arguably has the best background to build a team compared to any other United States men’s soccer team coach with his experience as a player and coach, nationally and internationally.
Still, it can be tough for the men’s national team to get the views and results that Becky Sauerbrunn, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe got in 2019.
Although there was a 39% drop in viewership since 2015, Sports Media Watch reported that the 2019 Women’s World Cup final drew the largest soccer audience on a network since the 2015 women’s final. It also drew 3, 1 million more people compared to the 2018 Men’s World Cup final with France and Croatia. Sports Media Watch noted that the combined audience between Fox and Telemundo for the France-Croatia final was higher with 17.8 million viewers. The fan base for this event is evident, especially considering that the 2015 women’s final (where the US defeated Japan 5-2 to win the World Cup) remains the most-watched football game in American television history with 25.4 million viewers.
This story originally appeared on OLBG and was produced and
distributed in association with Stacker Studio.