USWNT has second-highest group stage rating of all time in their opening game against Vietnam


The USWNT got off to a solid start against Vietnam at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, as did their ratings.

Fox’s US-Vietnam opening game on Friday drew an average of 5.26 million viewers with a peak of 6.55 million, the broadcaster announced on Saturday. Those numbers are reportedly 99% higher than the USWNT’s opener in the 2019 tournament and the second-highest rating of any group stage match at the Women’s World Cup.

If you add the one million viewers of the Spanish TV show on Telemundothe average number rises to 6.26 million.

It was widely expected that the US would win the game with a bang, which, bar for a few sloppy moments, they pretty much did. The team won 3-0, dominating possession time but could have scored more goals. Vietnam, ranked 32nd in the world and probably the weakest team the USA will face, was so strong in defense that it caused some problems.

Those rating numbers are pretty impressive for a number of reasons, including opponent quality. The game was not well-timed as it took place on a Friday night at 9pm ET. This will be a recurring factor in viewership as the tournament takes place in the remote time zones of Australia and New Zealand.

The USWNT had little drama against Vietnam. Next: the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Andrew Cornaga)

Even on a Friday night, however, the game saw heavy counter-programming in the form of Lionel Messi’s MLS debut at Inter Miami. The game between Miami and Cruz Azul started less than an hour before the USWNT game and the Barcelona legend came into play not long after the USWNT game started.

The Messi game was hidden behind Apple TV+’s dual paywall and MLS Season Pass, but it still attracted attention, especially when Messi struck a game-winning free-kick to kickstart his US career perfectly.

The USWNT meets the Netherlands again Wednesday, again at 9 p.m. ET on Fox. After that, it’s August 1 at 3 p.m. ET Portugal. Don’t expect big numbers from this.

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