Ratings Roundup: 2018 FIFA World Cup Captivates Viewers as Group Stages Near Conclusion

Ratings roundup is a rundown of rating news from the past week and is derived from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, the second weekend of the 2018 FIFA World Cup draws a big showing, the thrilling match between Germany and Sweden were the front liners of a heavily watched Day 10, the Mexican victory over South Korea provides Telemundo with their best performance on a Saturday, and social media traffic continues to accelerate.

Second Weekend of 2018 FIFA World Cup Action Reels in Impressive Numbers
Fox Sports recorded its two most-watched days of the 2018 FIFA World Cup over the weekend with average viewership of 3,875,000 on Saturday and 3,158,000 on Sunday.

Through Matchday 11, 2018 FIFA World Cup matches on FOX and FS1 are:

  • Up +31% over the complete Group Stage average of the last four World Cups combined, excluding U.S. matches
  • Up +20% over the 2010 World Cup Group Stage average, played in a comparable time zone, excluding U.S. matches.

On Sunday, Colombia’s 3-0 win over Poland was the most-watched match of the day and drew 4,555,000 viewers on the Fox broadcast network and Fox streaming sources. With 4,384,000 viewers tuning in on FOX alone, the match is up +135% over the 2010 Group Stage average, excluding U.S. matches, and up +69% over the 2014 Group Stage average, excluding U.S. matches.

2018 FIFA World Cup matches now account for FOX’s five most-watched non-U.S. soccer telecasts ever.

Germany – Sweden Headlines Busy Day for Fox Sports, Breaks 28 Year Old FIFA Television Record
Fox Sports recorded its most-watched FIFA World Cup day to date for the 2018 tournament, with three Saturday matches averaging nearly four million viewers (3,875,000). Leading the day, the dramatic Germany-Sweden Group Stage match won by Germany, on a stunning stoppage-time goal from Toni Kroos, scored 5,397,000 viewers. Including streaming, the match drew 5,636,000 viewers.

Peaking at 6,736,000 viewers, the German victory was the most-watched non-U.S. Men’s World Cup Group Stage match on English-language television since at least 1990.

Match viewership was up +108% from the 2014 World Cup Group Stage average, excluding U.S. matches (2,592,000) and up +189% from the 2010 World Cup Group Stage average, excluding U.S. matches (1,868,000). The match earned a 4.2/11 metered-market rating for a non-U.S. match as well.

In addition, Germany-Sweden was the most-watched English-language soccer telecast since the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final on Fox (22,317,000 on Fox alone for the full telecast).

In other matches Saturday, Mexico beat Korea Republic, 2-1, delivering 4,646,000 viewers across Fox Sports platforms (4,433,000 on linear television), the second-most-watched match of this year’s tournament on Fox or FS1. Belgium routed Tunisia 5-2 in the early morning match of the day, delivering an average of 1,951,000 viewers, making it the most-watched early morning match of the 2018 tournament to date.

Fox Sports Saturday digital highlights include:

  • The Germany-Sweden match was the top-performing streaming match of the day, with an average minute audience of 239,000 and 689,000 unique streamers
  • Saturday was the second-best day of the tournament for Snap, with 10.4 million Publisher Story views; 90.5 million total story views through Day 10

Telemundo Delivers Highest Viewed Saturday in Network History
Mexico’s 2-1 victory over South Korea in Saturday’s FIFA World Cup Russia match delivered multiplatform milestones for Telemundo Deportes.

The match averaged a Total Audience Delivery of 7.2 million viewers across Telemundo, TelemundoDeportes.com, and the Telemundo Deportes En Vivo and NBC Sports apps.

Telemundo averaged 6.6 million TV-only viewers for Mexico-South Korea in the two-hour match window and 6.02 million for the full coverage (10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. ET) — ranking as the network’s second most-watched sporting event ever (behind last Sunday’s Mexico-Germany match) and the ninth most-watched World Cup match in Spanish-language history.

Television-only viewership of Mexico-South Korea peaked at 7.61 million viewers from 12:30-12:45 p.m. ET.

The Mexico-South Korea game reached over 9.7 million viewers.

Telemundo Deportes’ complete Saturday coverage from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. ET averaged 3.1 million television viewers ranking as the most-watched Saturday daytime in Telemundo history, topping by 72% the prior record set during last Saturday’s World Cup coverage (1.8 million on 6/16/18). This was the ninth consecutive day that Telemundo set a daytime viewership record.

Telemundo Deportes’ presentation of Mexico-South Korea peaked at 665,000 concurrent live streams marking the largest audience for any non-Super Bowl in NBC Sports Digital history.

During Saturday’s coverage, Telemundo Deportes surpassed 1 billion live stream minutes of World Cup action delivered.

Telemundo Deportes’s Average Minute Audience (AMA) for Mexico-South Korea was 574,000 viewers — the highest Spanish-language AMA for any World Cup match in U.S. history.

With 5.2 million live streams, Mexico-South Korea is the most-watched live stream event in Spanish-language history. With 78 million minutes viewed, it surpasses the tournament’s previous high (Argentina vs. Croatia) by 15%.

Fox Sports, Telemundo Capture Social Media Engagement of the Tournament
Out-of-home viewing for the World Cup’s opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia on June 14 accounted for 504,000 viewers, adding a +30% lift to broadcast viewership.

Telemundo’s exclusive Spanish-language coverage of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia continues to drive record-setting performances for both its television and digital presentations.

Records and milestones set on Wednesday:

  • For the sixth consecutive day, Telemundo set a record for its most-watched daytime (6 a.m.-5 p.m. ET), averaging 1.2 million TV-only viewers, marking the best Wednesday delivery in the network’s history.
  • Registered the highest number of total live streams for a single day with 7.3M.
  • Telemundo’s digital presentation of each of Telemundo’s three Wednesday matches delivered a record 20% lift to the Total Audience Delivery. The previous high for TAD lift was 18% for Russia-Egypt game on Tuesday.

The stream of Thursday’s Croatia-Argentina match was the network’s biggest day ever with 2.8 million uniques, 9.2 million live video streams and 142 million live stream minutes.

Thursday’s early match (Denmark vs. Australia) generated 1.5 million live streams and 21 million minutes viewed. France-Peru wrapped up the day registering 2.9 million live streams and 50 million minutes viewed.