With a far worse timeslot and no United States Women’s National Team involvement, viewership for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final between Spain and England slid in both English and Spanish stateside.
Combined, the match averaged 2.21 million viewers across Fox, Telemundo, Universo, and Peacock. That’s a decline of 87% from four years ago in English and a drop of 75% from four years ago in Spanish. Keep in mind, the Spanish-language broadcast four years ago did not have the benefit of airing on Peacock, which launched in 2020.
No real surprise that the viewership for the FIFA Women's World Cup final fell off a cliff this year on U.S. airwaves compared to 2019.
No U.S. squad. 6am ET start.
Fox (1.8 million viewers) down around 87% from four years ago.
Telemundo (401,000 viewers) down around 75%
— Austin Karp (@AustinKarp) August 22, 2023
The Final in 2019, the USWNT’s win over the Netherlands, averaged 14.271 million viewers in English on Fox. Back in 2015, the USWNT’s win over Japan drew a staggering 25.4 million viewers in English on Fox.
In addition to not having the United States involved in the final three rounds of the tournament, American networks and viewers were plagued by awful start times. The final this year started at 6 a.m. ET. The 2015 Final started in primetime at 7 p.m. ET, and the 2019 Final started at noon ET. Either is far more advantageous than what Fox and Telemundo had to deal with this year.
Despite the poor start times, Spain’s 1-0 win held up well against Sunday’s slate of live sports. The Final outdrew a pair of Premier League games on USA, Aston Villa vs Everton and Chelsea vs West Ham, combined on Sunday morning. It also edged out all of NFL Network’s NFL Preseason action, ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball Little League Classic, and NBC’s broadcast of the World Track & Field Championships.