Fox Sports has a lot to overcome with its first men's World Cup -- no USA, early kickoff times -- but the thrilling Spain-Portugal game on Friday delivered a strong audience.
averaged 2,924,000 viewers on Fox. That audience was more than the other two games played on Friday combined: Iran-Morocco and Uruguay-Egypt.
Fox cited the audience for the Spain-Portugal
game being up 3 percent compared with the 2014 group-stage average, excluding U.S. matches.
But 10 matches on ABC or ESPN during Matchday 1 four years ago in Brazil, where there were much
more favorable kickoff times, drew higher viewerships than that of the Spain-Portugal. Five Matchday 1 games topped 4 million viewers.
Spain-Portugal was also the most-viewed
English-language soccer telecast in the United States since the Euro 2016 final between Portugal and France.