USA World Cup Win Over Iran Draws 15.5M Via Broadcasts
NEW YORK (AP) — The United States’ 1-0 win over Iran that earned the Americans a berth in the World Cup knockout rounds was seen by nearly 15.5 million people on USA English- and Spanish-language broadcasts and digital streams.
The game, which kicked off at 2 p.m. EST Tuesday, was viewed by 12,013,000 on Fox, including 954,004 digital streams, the most for a World Cup match for the network. That was up from 521,715 streams for the 0-0 draw between U.S. and England on Black Friday and 511,822 for the Americans’ opening 1-1 tie with Wales on Nov. 21.
USA Vs. Iran By The Numbers
Tuesday’s Spanish-language telecast was seen by 2.34 million on Telemundo, and an additional 1.12 million viewed the stream on Telemundo digital and Peacock.
The three U.S. group stage matches averaged 11.7 million, up 10% from an average of 10,622,000 for the trio of games on ESPN in 2014.
The U.S.-England game on Black Friday was viewed by 20.6 million in English and Spanish, including broadcast and digital.
According to Nielsen, the match was seen by 18,730,350 on English- and Spanish-language U.S. televisions, making it the second-most-watched U.S. World Cup game since 1994 — behind the 2-2 draw with Portugal at 19,757,173. It was also the fourth-most-watched men’s World Cup game since 1994 involving any team.
The Black Friday game drew 15,490,597, the most for an English-language telecast of a U.S. men’s World Cup game dating to 1994.
In addition, the game was streamed by 521,715 on Fox in English, and 1.27 million on Telemundo and Peacock in Spanish.
The U.S.’s opening 1-1 draw with Wales on Nov. 21 was viewed by 11.7 million.
Telemundo and Peacock are divisions of NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast Corp.
Soccer In USA Growing In Popularity
Soccer in the United States has been rapidly growing in popularity for two decades. Most recently, the sport has grown in popularity due to safety concerns in other sports. Most notably, American Football has suffered in participation due to an ongoing concern regarding head and brain injuries. Baseball has struggled with speeding up the gameplay to further attract a younger generation.
With its current projection, soccer is on track to compete with some of America’s historically most popular sports.