Viewership of US World Cup opener against Vietnam doubles from 2019

By Reuters   July 23, 2023 | 06:42 pm PT
Viewership of US World Cup opener against Vietnam doubles from 2019
Vietnam (in red) play the U.S. at the 2023 Women's World Cup in Eden Park, New Zealand, July 22, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
Average viewership for the United States' Women's World Cup opener against Vietnam nearly doubled from their kick-off match in 2019, broadcaster Fox said on Sunday.

A primetime time slot helped yield 5.261 million viewers, it said.

The Americans got their bid for an unprecedented three-peat off to a comfortable start as they beat World Cup newcomers Vietnam3-0 in Auckland on Saturday, with the match peaking at 6.552 million watchers for the English-language broadcast.

That was a 99% increase from the 2.649 million who tuned in for their 13-0 rout to open their 2019 campaign, when the match was aired mid-day on the U.S. East Coast.

The numbers were up 59% from their 2015 equivalent match, Fox said, when the Americans kicked off against Australia in Canada around 7 p.m. on the East Coast. That match was aired on Fox's FS1 channel.

While this year's primetime time slot offered a clear advantage over 2019, the match competed domestically for attention with Lionel Messi's highly anticipated Major League Soccer debut.

Messi, perhaps the biggest star to sign with the top-flight North American league since David Beckham 16 years ago, scored a stoppage-time victory in front of a star-studded crowd for the match, which kicked off about an hour before the U.S. team.

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