The most watched game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has been Argentina and Iceland’s 1-1 draw on Saturday. The match drew an average of nearly 3 million viewers on Fox according to Nielsen. Not only is that the most watched game of this year’s tournament, it is the most watched English language soccer broadcast in the United States since 2016.
The broadcast peaked at more than 4 million viewers on Fox. In total, Fox estimates the average audience at over 3.1 million across streaming and broadcast platforms. Fox attributes the viewership spike to the star power of Lionel Messi, the popularity of Iceland’s underdog story, and the David vs. Goliath nature of the matchup.
The TV ratings numbers are up 59% from 2010 (excluding US matches) and up 15% from 2014 (in favorable time slots, excluding US Matches).
Fox Sports social media platforms also have scored big during the World Cup. Saturday was the third straight day the Fox Sports Twitter account set a record for views and interactions with 13.5 million total video views.