Led by strong numbers for the U.S. team, Fox’s FIFA Women’s World Cup coverage is up overall through the group stage against the tournament’s prior edition in 2015 despite the move to a European time zone. The 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada (Fox’s first, following ESPN broadcasts of the event) drew excellent ratings, rising 21 percent overall from the 2011 edition (held in Germany), but the 2019 event has been even higher so far. As Fox tweeted Friday, metered market ratings are up 13 percent from 2015 through the group stage (which wrapped up Thursday):
Metered market ratings continue to rise, spurred by U.S. victory to finish #FIFAWWC Group Stage pic.twitter.com/wdfD2s5qoV
— FOX Sports PR (@FOXSportsPR) June 21, 2019
Fox Sports executive vice president (programming and research) Michael Mulvihill noted that there’s a rise in the national viewership numbers as well:
The group stage of the #FIFAWWC concludes with national viewership on FOX/FS1/FS2 up +6% over Canada 2015 and +73% over Germany 2011.
— Michael Mulvihill (@mulvihill79) June 21, 2019
It’s impressive to see growth from 2015, considering that those matches took place in a much friendlier time zone; most of the matches in France have taken place during the North American workday. And the jump over 2011 is particularly impressive, as that was the last Women’s World Cup held in Europe; it’s clear that the women’s game is receiving a lot more attention now than it was then. For what it’s worth, the Spanish-language ratings are also up, with Telemundo reporting a 50 percent increase over 2015 (although that comes with a significant caveat of excluding ratings for the Mexican team from 2015; Mexico didn’t qualify this time around). We’ll see how the overall ratings turn out for Fox, but there are good reasons for them to be happy with how this tournament has gone so far.