With the US Women’s National Team advancing to the 2015 World Cup Final in a rematch against Japan, the biggest media storyline was whether or not the game would surpass the 16 year old record of the 1999 World Cup Final as the most watched women’s soccer game of all-time.  With record ratings and viewership numbers throughout the 2015 tournament, there was a great chance for this year’s game to set a new high.

With the first ratings numbers in, it looks like this year’s game will do just that.

Our own Douglas Pucci was first to break the news that the USWNT’s 5-2 victory over Japan scored a 15.2 overnight rating with a 27 share and peaking with a 17.9 rating for the final stages of the contest:

According to Fox, it’s “the highest metered market rating ever for a soccer game in the U.S. on a single network.”  The 15.2 rating bests the 13.3 rating for the ’99 Final by 14% and almost doubles the same matchup four years ago when it garnered an 8.6 rating on ESPN.  Kansas City, St. Louis, San Diego, Denver, and Austin were the Top 5 local markets.

The current record audiences for soccer in the United States are as follows:

Combined audience, men’s or women’s (English & Spanish language television): 26.5 million viewers for 2014 World Cup Final – Germany vs Argentina (ABC)
Single network, men’s or women’s: 18.7 million viewers for 2014 World Cup Group Stage – USA vs Portugal (ESPN)
Women’s World Cup: 17.9 million viewers for 1999 World Cup Final – USA vs China (ABC)

We’ll share final viewership numbers when they come available, but the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final could become the first soccer game in history to reach 20 million viewers on a single network.

UPDATE: Again, our Douglas Pucci is the first to report on the fast national viewership numbers.  USA-Japan appears to be the first soccer game to break the 20 million viewer plateau on American English language television.  The game portion of the telecast (7-9 PM) drew 20.35 million viewers according to those numbers, which would be a new record for any soccer game on a single network.

UPDATE II: The final viewership numbers are even more impressive.  The 2015 Women’s World Cup Final drew an astounding 25.4 million viewers.  Combined with the 1.27 million viewers from Telemundo, the game is the new mark for the most watched soccer match in American history with 26.67 million viewers.  More from Fox Sports:

The USA’s emphatic 5-2 victory over Japan in the FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP 2015™ final, America’s first Women’s World Cup championship since 1999, is the most- watched soccer match in U.S. history, according to Nielsen.  The match posted a prodigious 12.9 household rating/share with 25.4 million viewers, and peaked at 30.9 million between 8:30-8:45 PM ET.

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.