The 1999 Women's World Cup has long been the standard by which we measure the popularity of the world of women's team sports. That may now have to change.
Unbelievable: Fox averaged 25.4 million viewers for last night's WWC US-Japan game. Official announcement coming on FS1 at 1pm.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) July 6, 2015
These still aren't final numbers, but these numbers are insane from any number of perspectives. That's a 77 percent increase over the 2011 final that featured the same two teams, but was stuck on cable (ESPN). The 15.2 rating is also significantly more than the 13.3 rating and 17.9 million viewers that the 1999 final brought in.
To put that into further perspective, this World Cup final trounced the highest rated game from last summer's men's tournament (18.2 million for the Portugal match) and significantly more than the most recent NBA Finals (13.9) and Stanley Cup finals (7.6) averaged COMBINED.
Seattle was one of the top markets, too, ranking No. 6 nationwide.
So feel free to show this to the next person that suggests Americans simply aren't interested in watching high level female team sports.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, even combining English and Spanish language viewership, more Americans watched this match than any other:
1.3M for Telemundo + 25.4M on Fox = 26.7M to surpass 2014’s 26.5M as most-watched match in US, men or women…sweet! https://t.co/0JIHYhNr68— Sports TV Ratings (@SportsTVRatings) July 6, 2015