It may have been played on a Saturday night, but it shows that live sports can bring eyeballs on what is known as a dead night for television. FS1 aired the United States-Paraguay game in the Copa América Centenario and the 1-0 US win gave FS1 its best viewership for a men’s soccer game in its young history. And it marked the second consecutive game that the US Men’s National Team set a viewership record on the network.

The match gave FS1 an average viewership of 2.061 million eclipsing the previous record, the USA game against Costa Rica earlier in the week which garnered 1.6 million viewers.

But Saturday’s numbers still trails the all-time record on FS1 which was last year’s USA-China’s Round of 16 game in last year’s Women World Cup which drew an average of 4.7 million viewers.

Some encourging figures for FS1 as the USA heads to a quarterfinal match on Thursday against Ecuador:

  • US-Paraguay’s viewership was 99% higher than the US group stage matches for last year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup which had an average of 1.036 million.
  • The US-Paraguay match was well over the average for its friendlies on FS, 445,000 viewers.

So as the US has some momentum heading into the quarterfinals, FS1 also has some viewership momentum. The network has to be looking forward to a good number for US-Ecaudor in Seattle which will air at a very friendly 8:30 p.m. ET timeslot.

Before Copa América, the previous record for a US men’s match was the CONCACAF Cup match with Mexico last year which averaged 1.561 million viewers.

[Fox Sports]

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

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