World Cup final reaches almost 27 million U.S. viewers

Updated data from Fox Sports and Telemundo Deportes pushed the total audience for Sunday's dramatic World Cup final between Argentina and France to almost 27 million viewers in the United States.

Fox's whistle-to-whistle number — covering regulation, overtime and the shootout — was 17,726,000. Its initial number of 16,783,000 viewers included the pre-game show in the average.

Telemundo Deportes reported that 9 million viewers watched the match on Telemundo, Universo, Peacock and Telemundo's streaming platforms. Initial figures covered only the linear networks.

The total of 26,726,000 viewers makes the Argentina-France thriller the third most-watched World Cup final after the 2014 men's final between Argentina and Germany (27,314,274 viewers on ABC and Univision) and the 2015 USA-Japan women's final in Vancouver on Fox and Telemundo (26,921,328 viewers).

The total audiences across the Fox and Telemuundo platforms represent an increase of almost 55 percent from the total audience (linear and streaming) for the 2018 France-Croatia final. The 2018 World Cup was the first men's tournament after Fox and Telemundo acquired the rights to all FIFA events.

This is the first World Cup that measurements included out-of-home viewing in bars and restaurants.

What stands out about the 2022 final viewing numbers:

18-49 demo. The initial numbers put the number of viewers in the 18-49 demographic that advertisers covet at 10.2 million. Only the NFL because of its massive reach can top that number.

Here was the 18-49 demo for the final games of the respective 2022 league finals:

NBA: 5,636,000.
MLB: 3,822,000.
NHL: 2,203,000.

Telemundo streaming.
One of the most impressive numbers throughout the World Cup was the streaming numbers Telemundo Deportes was pulling in.

The final ranks as the most-streamed World Cup match in U.S. media history, regardless of language with an Average Minute Audience (AMA) of 2.96 million viewers. A big factor for that was the decision to air games on Peacock, the familiar streaming home to NBC Sports' coverage of the English Premier League.

(The Super Bowl record for Average Minute Audience is 11.2 million viewers across all devices set in 2022.)

Photo: Stephen Nadler/ISI Photos

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