(Reuters) - The Women’s World Cup final between the United States and Japan attracted a record U.S. television soccer audience, while Japanese viewing figures were higher than when they won the tournament in 2011.
Sunday’s game, which capped a month-long tournament played in six Canadian cities, was the most watched soccer match of all time in the United States as 25.4 million Americans tuned in to watch their team’s 5-2 triumph, FIFA said in a statement.
The American audience for the game was 39 percent higher than the previous high set in 2014 when 18.2 million tuned in for the group stage match between the U.S. men’s team and Portugal at the World Cup in Brazil.
It was also 41 percent higher than the previous record for a women’s soccer match, which was set in 2011 when the United States lost to Japan on penalties in that year’s World Cup final.
FIFA also said an average audience of 11.6 million in Japan tuned in for the match, an 18 percent increase on the figures achieved during the 2011 final.
It was also higher than for any match that did not involve Japan at the 2014 World Cup.
The United States cruised to victory over rivals Japan at Vancouver’s BC Place where a sensational hat-trick by Carli Lloyd in the game’s first 16 minutes sent the Americans on their way to a first World Cup title since 1999.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; editing by Toby Davis