July 8, 2019 / 9:49 PM / 13 days ago

Women's World Cup final draws 14.3 million U.S. viewers, but misses record

U.S. soccer players Abby Dahlkemper (L), Megan Rapinoe (C) and Alex Morgan celebrate as they exit the plane with the Trophy for the FIFA Women's World Cup while the U.S team arrive at the Newark International Airport, in Newark, New Jersey, U.S., July 08, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - More than 14 million Americans watched on television as the U.S. women’s soccer team clinched their fourth World Cup title, broadcaster Fox said on Monday, but the TV audience failed to break records.

Sunday’s match in Lyon, France, in which the United States beat the Netherlands 2-0, was seen by 14.3 million Americans on Fox FOXA.0 and its cable sport channels, the broadcaster said.

The record for the most-watched soccer match in U.S. history is held by the 2015 Women’s World Cup final between the United States and Japan, which was played in Canada. That match drew a television audience of 25.4 million Americans, according to Nielsen data.

Sunday’s television viewing figures do not include audiences in bars and those who watched on large outdoor screens across the United States.

Fox said that across streaming platforms, Sunday’s final delivered an average minute audience of 289,000 viewers, making it the most-streamed Women’s World Cup final in history.

The television audience reflected surging popularity for soccer in the United States, where interest in the sport has lagged behind American football, baseball and basketball.

In Britain, almost 12 million people tuned in to watch England’s 2-1 defeat by the United States last week, making it the most watched television programme of the year so far in Britain.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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