Sports on TV: U.S. Gold Cup victory earns solid viewership despite Olympic competition

Sports on TV: U.S. Gold Cup victory earns solid viewership despite Olympic competition

Outside of the Olympics and MLB, the sports television schedule for major events has been modest.

One highlight has been the biennial CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer tournament, which wrapped up Sunday with a young United States side upsetting a veteran Mexico team 1-0 on Miles Robinson’s extra-time goal in front of 61,114 fans at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

The tournament aired on Spanish-language Univision and its TUDN sports channel and in English on Fox’s FS1.

The final, which kicked off at 10 p.m. ET, averaged a combined 7.6 million TV viewers across the three networks. The match faced Olympics coverage competition on NBC’s platforms that averaged 16 million viewers on Sunday.

The Gold Cup tournament typically enjoys its biggest U.S. audiences among Spanish-language network viewers, and Univision/TUDN averaged a combined 5.7 million on Sunday, the network said. That made it Univision’s most-watched soccer telecast since the 2016 Copa America final.

On FS1, the match averaged 1.75 million TV viewers, per Nielsen data from Fox Sports.

How do those numbers compare to the last Gold Cup, played in pre-pandemic 2019?

Like just about every other live sports event on TV, this year’s final saw a decline. It was down almost 14 percent overall across the three networks, which averaged 8.8 million for the 2019 final. On FS1, Mexico’s victory over the U.S. two years ago averaged 2.9 million viewers. On Univision and TUDN, it averaged 5.9 million in 2019.

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