UPDATED with final viewership: Twenty years after winning its one and only World Cup, France claimed FIFA’s biggest prize again Sunday in a 4-2 victory over Croatia that prompted a now-famous leap and fist pump by President Emmanuel Macron up in the VIP box, cheers and tears in the streets of Paris and all over the nation, a rain-drenched celebration in Moscow and Fox’s top result of the monthlong tournament.
With an 8.3/21 in metered market results and 11.3 million viewers on Fox, the Sunday morning end to the Russia-hosted World Cup was a win and loss for Fox.
The early metric is a clear victory, with a 66% jump over the previous top-rated game of the 2018 tournament for the Rupert Murdoch-owned network when Croatia beat Russia on July 6. The game peaked with a 10.0/25 MM rating in the 9:45-10 AM PT time slot ,and with an audience of 14.6 million in the 9:30-9:45 AM PT period.
Sunday’s France-winning final is the best metered market rating for any soccer match on Fox or Fox Sports 1 since Team USA beat Japan in the final of the 2015 Women’s World Cup. That match went on to pull in 25.4 million viewers for Fox, which is far far ahead of what’s yesterday’s final snagged. Still, Sunday’s match was the most watched non-NFL game on Fox this year.
On the flipside, Sunday’s final was down a not insignificant 14% in metered market numbers and a hard 20% in viewership from ABC’s broadcast 2014 World Cup final, when Germany beat Argentina. Though this year’s tournament has had some impressive numbers, the fact is that Fox has always been hobbled ratingswise by the lack of an American presence in the 2018 World Cup.
As we are at the end of the tournament, it is worth noting that Washington D.C. was not the No. 1 market for the final as it has been for so many of the big games this tournament. That top spot went to Comic-Con home San Diego, with a 13.8/33 MM rating topping the nation’s capital’s 13.6.34.
One more stat: Fox and Fox Sports 1’s coverage of the 2018 World Cup from June 14-July 15 made up all of the top 20 highest-rated shows among men in the 18-49 demographic over the past month. Boys love their footie.