Huge audiences tuned in to football and soccer over the Thanksgiving weekend, with the NFL, World Cup and college football achieving record ratings.
why does it matter: This was especially good news for Fox Corp., which aired the three most-watched games for three consecutive days.
- Thanksgiving: The New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game was the most-watched NFL regular-season game in history, averaging 42 million viewers across live television and streaming, according to Nielsen. The total audience for the NFL’s three Thanksgiving games was 138 million, up from 103 million last year and a new Thanksgiving Day record.
- Friday: USA-England drew more than 15.3 million viewers, making it the most-watched men’s soccer match ever on English-language television in the United States, Fox said. Another 4.6 million watched the Spanish-language broadcast on Telemundo or Peacock, bringing the total audience to nearly 20 million, per NBCU.
- Saturday: Ohio State-Michigan drew 17 million viewers, making it the most-watched regular-season college football game in Fox history and the most-watched regular-season game on any network since 2011.
What they are saying: A Fox spokesperson told Axios last week that the company expected roughly 120 million people to watch its Thanksgiving weekend coverage on Fox and FS1. These three parties alone contributed more than half of that number.
For context: The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, one of the few non-sports events that routinely ranks among the top broadcasts of the year, drew 27.7 million viewers Thursday on NBC and Peacock.
The big picture: Fox wasn’t the only network to get big sports ratings over the holidays.
- Saturday’s Argentina-Mexico World Cup match was the most-watched sporting event in Telemundo history, with the Spanish-language broadcast drawing more than 8.9 million viewers on Telemundo and the platforms of streaming Peacock and Telemundo, the network said.
- Even after a busy few days, fans still tuned in to the NFL across all networks on Sunday, as usual. The Philadelphia Eagles-Green Bay Packers game drew 16.2 million viewers on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” the program’s best nightly tally since Oct. 16.
What to see: Fox should post another impressive viewership today when the U.S. men’s national team takes on Iran in a win-or-go-home World Cup game. The game starts at 2 pm ET.