Women's World Cup final seen by record 26.7 million in US

NEW YORK -- The United States' win over Japan in the Women's World Cup final was the most viewed soccer game in the history of American television.

The 5-2 victory Sunday, which gave the Americans a record third title, was seen by 26.7 million viewers.

Fox said Monday its English-language coverage drew a 12.9 rating was seen by an average of 25.4 million, and NBC's Telemundo said its telecast averaged 1.27 million. The audience peaked at 30.9 million from 8:30-8:45 p.m. as the game neared its end, and 43.2 million tuned into some portion of the match.

Average viewership topped the previous mark of 26.5 million set when Germany beat Argentina in last year's men's World Cup final. That was seen by 17.3 million on ABC and 9.2 million on Spanish-language Univision.

Fox's viewership set a U.S. English-language record for soccer, topping the 18.22 million tuned to ESPN for the 2-2 draw between the American men and Portugal in the group stage on June 22 last year.

The previous high for a women's match was 17,975,000 on ABC for the United States' penalty kicks win over China in the 1999 Women's World Cup final.

Fox's viewership for this year's final at Vancouver, British Columbia, which started at 7 p.m. EDT, was nearly double the 13,458,000 that watched Japan's penalty-kicks win over the United States in the 2011 final. That game, played in Frankfurt, Germany, started at 2:45 p.m. EDT.

Fox's audience for the final exceeded the viewers for San Francisco's win over Kansas City in Game 7 of last year's World Series on Fox (23.5 million), Golden State's NBA title-winning victory over Cleveland last month on ABC (23,254,000) and Chicago's Stanley Cup-winning victory in Game 6 over Tampa Bay last month on NBC (8,005,000).

It was the highest for any U.S. broadcast since an average of 28.3 million saw Duke beat Wisconsin on CBS to win the NCAA men's basketball title in April.

The 52 World Cup matches on Fox, Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 averaged 1,824,000, a 21 percent increase from the average of 1,511,000 for the 32 games of the 2011 tournament on ESPN and ESPN2.

St. Louis had the highest average for the seven U.S. matches at 8.0, followed by Kansas City (7.5), Washington, D.C. (7.3), Austin, Texas (6.6), San Diego (6.4), Richmond, Virginia (6.2), and Denver and Baltimore (6.1).

An average of 232,000 unique streamers watched the final on Fox Sports Go, a record for the app.

In the weekend's other big soccer match, Chile's penalty-kicks win over Argentina in the finale of the Copa America tournament was viewed by 1.46 million in the United States: 464,000 on beIN Sports and 1 million on beIN Sports en Espanol.