It was a match to remember, both in terms of what euphoria sprung from witnessing the U.S. women’s soccer team triumph over the Netherlands in a heart-stopping 2-0 victory, and in terms of how many tuned in to watch the tense match.
The Women’s World Cup final on Sunday scored a preliminary 10.0 household rating in overnight metered markets for Fox, according to Nielsen. That’s nearly 20% more than the men’s final match between France and Croatia last year, which drew an 8.3 in the same metric on its way to a total of 12.5 million viewers.
The total viewership for this final will soon become apparent. All eyes are on whether it could possibly top the 2015 women’s final against Japan, the most-watched in U.S. history with 25.4 million viewers. The 2015 games’ edge may be that they were held in Canada and so aired in a more U.S.-friendly primetime slot.
In Lyon, France, the match was a charged, thrilling event, as well as a cathartic moment for the U.S. team, which will return home to battle a lawsuit with U.S. Soccer, filed in March, on the grounds of gender discrimination; as the players celebrated their win, audiences chanted “Equal pay!” from the stands.
Social media was ablaze throughout the game, especially after captain Megan Rapinoe became a viral sensation for her candor in interviews and triumphant celebration pose. Notably, Rapinoe, who is openly gay and has frequently criticized gender inequality in the U.S., stated before the match that she would never visit the White House if invited, drawing the ire of President Donald Trump.
“Megan should WIN first before she TALKS!” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Finish the job!” Once she and the U.S. women’s team did exactly that, Trump—despite stating in June that he would invite the team regardless of whether they won—simply congratulated the team, without expounding upon whether an invitation would be sent.
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