Saturday’s dramatic World Cup competition between Germany and Sweden set a new record as the most-watched group stage match not involving the U.S. team, with an average of 5.4 million viewers and a peak of 6.7 million viewers.
Kicking off at 2 p.m. ET, the match saw Germany, the defending world champions, on the verge of elimination at halftime when Sweden scored a first-half goal. But the Germans tied the game a few minutes into the second half and, in the final minute of the match, midfielder Toni Kroos curved the ball into the net on a short, free kick to give Germany the victory and the hopes alive of repeating as champions.
Fox reports that this is the most-watched non-U.S. World Cup match at this stage of the competition since 1990, when the U.S. qualified for the tournament for the first time in 40 years. It was also the most-watched English-language soccer telecast of any kind since the U.S. victory in the Women’s World Cup final in 2015.
With the Yanks out of the tournament and a larger time zone difference than the 2014 tournament in Brazil, ratings are down across the board compared to the last World Cup. However, Fox reports that 10 days into the tournament, average viewership is currently sitting at 2.125 million, up 14 percent from the group stage of the 2010 tournament in South Africa.