With a week in FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia already complete, fans have witnessed a lot of exciting moments in the multi-nation tournament so far. A surprising fact that has come up is that the television viewership in the United States, for 2018 FIFA World Cup has seen a dip of 44 percent in comparison to the World Cup that took place in Brazil, in 2014.
The TV viewership across the channels both, English and Spanish, hasn’t only seen a dip, but the fall in numbers have been consistent throughout. Be it English-language broadcaster Fox or Spanish-language broadcaster NBCUniversal’s Telemundo; there has been a steep fall in the television viewership.
Talking about FIFA World Cup matches on Fox, the viewership has seen a fall from 3.55 million viewers in World Cup 2014 to 1.98 million viewers in World Cup 2018. The football World Cup matches on Telemundo has also witnessed a similar fall in the viewership with a fall from 3.3 million viewers on Univision in WC 2014 to 1.87 million viewers in this edition.
There are several reasons attributed to the fall in ratings in the United States. The FIFA WC 2018 matches start as early as 6 am and both the broadcasters are newcomers in this domain. However, the main reason for the dip in viewership is that the local team (United States) failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. FIFA World Cup 2018 - Schedule & Results.
However, the broadcasters have shifted their focus to the games of Mexico to tap in more bilingual viewers. To understand the stark difference in the viewership between both the World Cups, here’s a factual figure – in World Cup 2014, a total of 9.7 million viewers tuned in to see USA’s first match against Ghana; whereas, the most watched match at World Cup in Russia this year had attracted only 4 million viewers in a game between Brazil vs Switzerland.