SPORTS

Women's World Cup numbers paint rosy picture, from TV audience to goal-scoring

07/06/2015 05:24 EDT | Updated 07/06/2016 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - The numbers show the Women' World Cup was embraced at home and around the globe.

TV records were set on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.

Twitter says tweets about the soccer tournament were viewed nine billion times, with the U.S. dominating the conversation.

Sunday's final between the U.S. and Japan led the Twitter buzz with other U.S. games as well as tight knockout-round contests between Japan and England and Germany and France also drawing significant traffic.

The top six tournament players on Twitter were all from the U.S. team: Julie Johnston, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Hope Solo and Abby Wambach.

A Canadian Twitter breakdown was not immediately available.

Facebook says its data shows nearly nine million people had 20 million interactions about the Women's World Cup on Facebook.

The U.S. topped the Facebook table in terms of engagement by country, followed by Mexico, Britain, Canada and Brazil.

TSN says Sunday's final, won 5-2 by the U.S., averaged 2.1 million viewers according to preliminary figures — making it the most-watched Women's World Cup final for a Canadian audience. Some 7.7 million viewers tuned in at some point, with the average audience peaking at 2.8 million for the final minute of the game.

TSN says Canada's five tournament matches averaged 2.3 million viewers. That rose to 3.2 million for the final quarter-final loss to England, which set a record for the country's most-watched Women's World Cup match ever. Like the final, it was the most-watched program on Canadian TV that weekend.

The network calls it Canada's most-watched FIFA Women's World Cup ever. The audience was nearly four times that of the 2011 tournament in Germany.

Fox says the final was also the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history, according to Nielsen. The telecast averaged 25.4 million viewers and peaked at 30.9 million.

That breaks the previous U.S. soccer mark of 18.22 million set by the U.S.-Portugal match at last year's men's World Cup. It also shattered the previous record for a women's soccer match (1999 Women's World Cup final, 17.975 million) and the 2011 Women's World Cup final (13.5 million) which also featured the U.S. versus Japan.

Fox says Sunday's U.S. audience exceeded every game of the NBA finals as well as the 2014-15 broadcast season average of every show in prime time, including Sunday Night Football, and the prime-time average of the Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

It was the most-watched telecast since this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament championship game on CBS (28.3 million).

In all, Fox says 43.2 million viewers watched all or part of Sunday's final. The network averaged 1.824 million viewers per each of the tournament's 52 matches across all its networks.

According to FIFA, other countries also enjoyed record TV numbers.

The world governing body of soccer says total attendance of 1,353,506 is a record for a FIFA tournament outside the men's World Cup.

The previous FIFA record was 1,309,929 set in 2011 in Colombia at the men's under-20 World Cup. It should be noted that FIFA counts doubleheaders as two tickets even though one granted admission to both games.

The average attendance for the Canadian tournament was 26,029 with seven matches drawing more than 50,000.

Goals were up — 2.81 a match compared to 2.69 in 2011. And the seven-goal championship game set a record for the highest-scoring women's final.

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

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