With the 2018 FIFA World Cup Draw airing on FS1 last Friday morning, there was reduced interest as compared to the previous World Cup Draw which aired in 2013 on ESPN2. First, the show aired while many people were working (which isn’t a unique problem compared to prior draws). Starting at 10 a.m. ET, many potential viewers were either at work or heading to work. Second, there’s no rooting interest for many with the USMNT failing to qualify.

Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily has the numbers for FS1’s World Cup Draw, and they were not pretty:

That is a huge drop compared to four years ago. In comparison, Undisputed with Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe typically draws an average of around twice the 65,000 viewers for the Draw.

Over on Telemundo, the Draw also took a hit compared to four years ago on Univision, dropping from over one million viewers to under 300,000.

With the World Cup taking place halfway across the world in Russia and no United States team taking part, Fox may implement some creative marketing to draw viewers, aside from hoping to latch onto Mexico as a potential home team..

Of course, the World Cup Draw isn’t a true indication, but it may be a harbinger of things to come for Fox/FS1. Fox outbid ESPN for the World Cup when it was a hot property, but the 2014 event was only one hour ahead of the east coast. both 2018 and 2022 will be eight hours ahead of the east coast and the latter event in Qatar is expected to take place not in the summer, but in the late fall or early winter when football is dominating American airwaves.

So while the coverage isn’t off to a great start ratings-wise, there are still seven months to go before the first match begins. Fox still is hoping that the interest will build as we get closer to the event.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

  • Bscotch Bscotch

    A repeat of My Wife & Kids on VH1 airing against the draw had 99k viewers

  • bbbbb100

    Fox done bought a lemon…

  • Aplethora

    Quite simple: No US team, no viewers. Italy, which has a substantial fan base in the US is not there either.
    Gonna get ugly for Fox.

  • BadgerBacker

    Question: How is this “Awful Announcing”? I use to come here for the call out of bad play calling and announcers, but when I look at the listing of stories, there is really not one good article which pertains to purpose of the site. What ever happened to the awards? The Pammies? The Dickie’s? The screen grab snafu’s? Announcers going psycho on air?

  • ItsBlackjack115

    SALTY FOX TEARS!

  • Adam Domo

    this is going to be a super rough world cup for ratings.