Remember how we said FOX was winning big with the USWNT making it into the Women’s World Cup Final? That was probably an understatement.
Those are amazing numbers for FOX, and FOX also was able to promote the USMNT CONCACAF Gold Cup game on July 9 as well. This is a real return for FOX, as it just recently started airing FIFA games – ESPN had TV rights prior – and lays out a typical/standard blueprint to drive viewership to newer sports television properties.
The game benefited from being aired of FOX’s broadcast network, but all of this promotion and excitement probably had a positive effect for FS1. Fans were also introduced to FS1’s soccer announcing and studio talent and all of this success promotes a learning and familiarity for casual fans. In essence, FOX paid big dollars for an international marquee event and then crossed its fingers. There is little doubt that FOX would have garnered such high ratings with the Japan v. Germany matchup, but it doesn’t matter because the USWNT fulfilled its obligations because they just kept winning.
The quick goals and big lead also could have helped. People in the U.S. love seeing coronations and championships, and the Women’s World Cup was no different. The three quick strikes by the U.S. may have actually increased viewership because patriotic fans coming off a July 4 weekend may have carried their patriotism over to the game.
In any case this was a big win for the USWNT and FOX.
Michael Colangelo is Assistant Director at the USC Sports Business Institute and Senior Editor of The Fields of Green.