The first World Cup match to feature the U.S. men’s national team since 2014 drew 8.3 million viewers for Fox Sports’s English-language broadcast and 3.4 million for NBCUniversal’s Spanish-language broadcast on Telemundo and Peacock.
Tuesday’s 1-1 draw between the U.S. and Wales at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium in Qatar, drew its peak audience of 9.4 million viewers from 3:45 to 4 p.m., Fox Sports PR said in a tweet sharing that 8.3 million number. As in, right after the U.S. lost the 1-0 lead it had held since 36 minutes into the match.
The match also set streaming records, with Fox Sports calling its AMA (average-minute audience) of 536,000 its most-streamed World Cup group-stage match ever. NBC Sports, meanwhile, said in a press release that it drew an AMA of 1 million viewers, the most-streamed Spanish-language World Cup match ever.
This interest also made the Peacock app the most-downloaded free iOS app on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, NBC’s release added.
Both companies cited Nielsen Media Research and Adobe Analytics for their viewership statistics.
Fox and NBCUniversal bid a combined $1 billion for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup. Four years ago, when the U.S. men’s team suffered the ignominious fate of not even qualifying for the tournament hosted by Russia that year, that proved to be money ill spent.
The team and the two companies are all off to a better start this year, with their next big test coming with Friday’s U.S.-England match at 2 p.m. Eastern—with that game airing on Fox instead of Fox Sports.