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World Cup suffers massive ratings drop in the U.S.

World Cup suffers massive ratings drop in the U.S.
[Photo: Danilo Borges/Wikimedia Commons]

Soccer might be the globe’s most popular sport–but not in America. To see proof of that, you only need to look at the viewership numbers for the latest World Cup, which began a week ago and runs until mid-July in Russia. The 2018 FIFA World Cup has seen U.S. viewership plummet 44% compared to 2014’s audience, reports Bloomberg.

That’s not good news for Fox or NBCUniversal’s Telemundo, which hold the English- and Spanish-language viewing rights in America. Games on Fox are averaging 1.98 million views–compared to the 3.55 million average of 2014’s games that ESPN carried. Telemundo’s games are averaging only 1.87 million viewers, which is down from the 3.3 million average games brought in on Univision four years ago. Both networks paid a combined $1.1 billion for the U.S. rights to the 2018 World Cup. As for why the numbers are so much lower, analysts speculate that the extreme time-zone difference with Russia and the fact that U.S. team failed to qualify for the 2018 tournament are two contributing factors.

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