(UPDATED WITH VIEWERSHIP) Having captured everyone’s attention with their June 17 World Cup battle, Mexico and Germany took to the pitch yesterday to remind everyone why this tournament of the beautiful game is one of the finest in all of sports – and make Rupert Murdoch and Fox very happy.
Early on Saturday, our southern neighbor came off their jaw-dropping upset win over Germany with a solid 2-1 victory over South Korea with goals from Carlos Vela and Javier Hernandez. The LAFC and West Ham players’ efforts helped Mexico nail its position at the top of Group F as it heads to now face Sweden on June 27.
If Mexico was representing with pride for North America in the Russia hosted 2018 World Cup, reigning champions Die Mannschaft showed the almost celebrating Swedes exactly why they have the nickname and victories they do. As the Saturday afternoon match stood at 1-1 going into stoppage time and a stunning German elimination looking certain, Toni Kroos dug deep in the final seconds to get in a free kick against Sweden that secured victory and kept his nation’s 2018 hopes alive.
If they were joyous in Mexico City and Berlin yesterday, they were ecstatic at Fox over the results.
Leaping up to 5.4 million viewers, the Germany vs. Sweden match pulled in the best numbers of any game this World Cup so far. Now, that’s impressive enough in a competitive TV environment but that’s just the beginning in many ways for how well the game scored for Fox on Saturday. Yesterday’s German comeback was the most watched English-language soccer game the Murdoch-owned network has had since 2015’s FIFA Women’s World Cup final where Team USA beat Japan in time zone friendly Vancouver, Canada.
Peaking at an audience of 6.7 million, the Germany & Sweden match also now holds the distinction of being the most-watched non-U.S. Men’s World Cup Group Stage match on English-language television since 1990.
With a 4.2/11 metered market rating for the Germany vs. Sweden game, Fox scored big in other metrics too. For one, 10 days into the tournament, that result is the best of the 2018 World Cup so far, topping the previous title holder of the then impressive 2.77 of the Germany vs. Mexico match of June 17. More significantly, the early metrics of Germany’s literally last minute win over Sweden are the best any non-U.S. World Cup match has done on any broadcaster since the 2006 tournament, when metered market stats were first used.
Snagging a very strong 8.3/21 in the top local market of Washington D.C., the match only portion of Fox’s coverage of the Germany and Sweden game pulled in a 4.4/12.
It also means that with a 3.10 MM rating overall, Fox and Fox Sports 1 World Cup 2018 results for this second Saturday of the tournament are steady with the comparable date of the 2014 World Cup. Fox are down just 6% from what ESPN did four years ago. Though back then Germany didn’t have to apologize for acting out in front of their vanquished rival’s bench, as they did yesterday:
Es war ein emotionales Spiel. Am Ende war die eine oder andere Reaktion oder Geste unseres Betreuerstabes in Richtung der schwedischen Bank zu emotional. Das entspricht nicht unserer Art. Dafür haben wir uns beim schwedischen Trainer & seinem Team entschuldigt. Ursäkta! #GERSWE
— Die Mannschaft (@DFB_Team) June 23, 2018
Still, no small part of that horserace between Fox 2018 and ESPN 2014 comes from the very good numbers that the Mexico vs. South Korea match snared as well.
Even with a simulcast on Telemundo, who has the Spanish-language rights to this World Cup in America, cleaning up among the stateside audience, Fox’s 7:45 AM PT airing of the second win for El Tri nailed a 3.5/10 metered market rating. With the actual game itself getting a 3.7/10 and D.C. proving the top local market with 6.2/17, yesterday’s Mexico vs. the Korea Republic match is now the second highest rated game of the 2018 World Cup for Fox.
The 4.6 million sets of eyeballs that watched the Mexico and South Korea battle takes the silver for the most watched game of the 2018 World Cup on Fox and FS1, behind the Germany and Sweden match.
If you want to put some context to how good the viewership numbers of yesterday’s Germany vs. Sweden game are, the June 17 Mexico vs. Germany game had a perhaps soon to be eclipsed viewership record of 4.5 million watching. NBCUniversal owned Telemundo also broke new viewership ground with 6.56 million sets of eyeballs watching the June 17 pitch battle. Up to yesterday’s 6.6 million for the Mexico vs. South Korea, the Mexico win over Germany was the most watched World Cup group stage match ever on Spanish-language TV.
It will all come down to the last matchday… pic.twitter.com/guY0oKYjIv
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 23, 2018