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Messi who? USWNT earns record TV ratings across FOX, Telemundo

The United States women's national team began their World Cup campaign in New Zealand on Friday, and their comfortable 3-0 victory over Vietnam was watched by record numbers back home on FOX and Telemundo.

On FOX, an average of 5.26 million watched the match while viewership peaked at 6.55 million viewers for the final 15 minutes. When the U.S. opened the 2019 World Cup against Thailand, that match averaged 2.649 million, so things are up 99%. Historically, it's the second-most watched Women's World Cup group stage match of all time (trailing the USWNT vs. Chile in 2019), but it was the most streamed ever with an audience of 155,831.

There was a combined audience of 6.26 million because of just over 1 million viewers on Telemundo, making it the most-watched Women's World Cup group stage match in Spanish-language history and the third largest at any stage (behind only the 2019 and 2015 finals). When you take into consideration the fact that Lionel Messi was making his Inter Miami debut at the exact same time, the numbers are all the more impressive.

Spanish-language coverage of the 2023 World Cup across Telemundo, Peacock and Universo is already up 49% on average compared with the 2019 group stage, and 152,000 streamed the USWNT vs. Vietnam in Spanish, bringing the total streaming audience across both languages to 307,831.

The numbers should again be massive on Wednesday night when the USWNT plays the Netherlands in a rematch of the 2019 final. Kick off is at 9 p.m. ET on FOX and Telemundo.

The U.S. finishes the group stage with a 3 a.m. ET kick off against Portugal on Tuesday, Aug. 1. That one's going to have a more difficult time breaking any records.

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