USA–England Game Becomes Most-Watched Men’s Soccer Match on U.S. Television

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Weston McKennie Declan Rice
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Fox Sports scored an impressive gooooooal on Friday, November 26, setting the record for the most-watched men’s soccer match on English-language U.S. television with that day’s USA–England FIFA World Cup match.

Friday’s game — in which the USA and England drew with 0 points apiece — brought in 15.38 million viewers, peaking at 19.65 million viewers between 3:30 and 3:45 Eastern, according to statistics Fox Sports tweeted on Friday. The top markets watching the game were Kansas City (8.5 household rating/26 share), Hartford (8.3/27), Boston (8.0/25), Dallas (8.0/28), and Washington, D.C. (7.9/28).

Until Friday, the record-holder was the Brazil–Italy game that ended the U.S.-hosted 1994 World Cup. 14.5 million viewers watched that match.

Fox Sports also noted on Friday that viewership of the USA–England game was up 11 percent from United States men’s national soccer team’s second group-stage match in 2014, when 13.77 million people tuned in to watch the team play Portugal in Brazil.

This year’s World Cup, hosted in Qatar, kicked off on November 20 and runs through mid-December. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Friday, December 9, and Saturday, December 10; the semifinals are scheduled for Tuesday, December 13, and Wednesday, December 14; the third-place match will take place on Saturday, December 17; and the final is slated for Sunday, December 18.

The 2022 competition has been beset by controversies, however. According to U.S. News & World Report, Qatar faced bribery allegations when FIFA named it the 2022 World Cup host in 2010, and since then, human rights groups have called out Qatar for migrant workers’ working conditions in the country and the country’s treatment of women and LGBTQ individuals.

As this year’s World Cup continues, the U.S. men’s national team will face Iran on Tuesday, November 29, at 2/1c.