NEW YORK, N.Y. – The World Cup soccer final where France defeated Croatia was seen by just over 16 million people in the United States on Sunday.
While that made the Sunday morning telecast on Fox and Telemundo the most-watched program of the week, it represented a significant drop in viewership from the 2014 World Cup finale, which featured Germany and Argentina. That game had 26.5 million viewers on ABC and Univision, the Nielsen company said.
While Croatia was a compelling underdog story, the small country probably wasn’t a big television draw. The World Cup in general had to fight for attention in the United States because the U.S. team did not qualify this year.
The Fox telecast of the finale reached 11.3 million, with the remainder watching the Spanish-language station.
The company Eurodata TV estimated that 163 million people in Europe and China watched the World Cup final, with China leading the way with 56 million. Even with two European teams competing, Eurodata said the World Cup final was less popular in that region than the competition four years ago. There was no worldwide estimate of viewership yet.
In France, the final game against Croatia was seen by 19.3 million people — smaller than the audience for the Euro soccer final two years ago, Eurodata TV said.
The 1.6 million people who watched in Croatia represented a nearly 90 per cent market share — meaning 90 per cent of the televisions in that country were tuned in, Eurodata said.
NBC was the winner for the week in U.S. prime-time viewing, averaging 4.3 million viewers. CBS had 4 million, ABC had 3.4 million, Fox had 2.1 million, ION Television had 1.4 million, Telemundo had 1.13 million, Univision had 1.05 million and the CW had 900,000 viewers.
Fox News Channel was the week’s most popular cable network, averaging 2.69 million viewers. MSNBC had 1.58 million, USA had 1.48 million, HGTV had 1.4 million and TBS had 1.07 million.
ABC’s “World News Tonight” led the evening newscasts with an average of 7.7 million viewers. NBC’s “Nightly News” had 7.2 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.3 million.
For the week of July 9-15, the top 10 prime-time shows, their networks and viewerships: “America’s Got Talent” (Tuesday), NBC, 11.55 million; “60 Minutes,” CBS, 7.3 million; “Celebrity Family Feud,” ABC, 6.41 million; “America’s Got Talent” (Wednesday), 5.98 million; “World of Dance,” NBC, 5.89 million; “Little Big Shots,” NBC, 5.84 million; “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 5.83 million; “Hannity” (Monday), Fox News, 5.82 million; “Code Black,” CBS, 5.72 million; “The Bachelorette,” ABC, 5.69 million.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.