USMNT Makes History at Copa América with Record-Breaking Viewership

The United States' victory over Bolivia not only secured three points in the group stage but also shattered viewership records
United States v Bolivia - CONMEBOL Copa America USA 2024
United States v Bolivia - CONMEBOL Copa America USA 2024 / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

Who would have thought that a soccer match between the United States and Bolivia on a Sunday night could capture the attention of millions of viewers and make history? Well, the United States Men's National Soccer Team (USMNT) achieved this feat at Copa América 2024, leading Fox Sports to register its highest viewership for a non-World Cup match.

The 2-0 score against Bolivia not only secured an important victory for the Americans but also attracted an impressive 3.165 million viewers. That's right, the match became the most-watched English-language soccer broadcast in the United States outside of the World Cup. This number is not just a cold statistical fact; it shows that soccer is truly winning the hearts of Americans.

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And we're not talking about modest growth. Compared to the Copa América Centenario in 2016, also held on American soil, viewership increased by 108%. Back then, USMNT's group stage matches averaged 1.521 million viewers. Even more impressive is the 191% jump compared to the single USMNT Gold Cup match broadcast on Fox last summer, which had 1.088 million viewers.

But what explains this explosive increase in viewership? Several factors can be highlighted. Firstly, the growing popularity of soccer in the United States cannot be underestimated. We are seeing an increasing number of young athletes choosing soccer over other traditional American sports like American football and baseball. Additionally, the presence of American players in major European leagues has increased visibility and prestige.

Another crucial point was Fox's timing and programming strategy. The United States' match against Bolivia was broadcast at 6 PM ET, right after a UEFA Euro 2024 game between Germany and Switzerland. This kind of "lead-in" helped keep viewers tuned in to Fox. We also had the Hungary vs. Scotland match on FS1 at the same time.

We must also mention Lionel Messi. The opening of Copa América on Thursday, with Argentina's victory over Canada, also showed robust numbers, with 1.056 million viewers on FS1. Messi is still a viewership magnet, and his presence at Copa América certainly helped boost overall interest in the tournament.

The USMNT has two important games ahead: against Panama on Thursday, June 27, at 6 PM ET, and against Uruguay on Monday, July 1, at 9 PM ET. Both promise to be exciting and might even break more viewership records. And it's not just the United States drawing attention. Argentina, with its games broadcast on June 25 and 29 on FS1, and Brazil, playing on June 24, 28, and July 2, are also set to keep soccer fans glued to their screens.