A distillation of an entire month of soccer in two 45-minute halves, Sunday's 2018 FIFA World Cup Final offered fans a taste of just about everything that made this year's tournament such a wild ride. Unfortunately for Fox, the only thing missing from the France-Croatia match was the sort of massive audience the broadcast deserved.
According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, France's 4-2 victory over Croatia delivered an average 11.3 million viewers, or whom 5.06 million, or 45 percent, were members of the 18-to-49 demographic that advertisers most covet. The broadcast, which featured France's second World Cup title in 20 years, averaged a 6.2 household rating.
As has been the case throughout this year's World Cup, Fox's ratings fell well short of the kind of numbers ABC scared up four years ago; per Nielsen, that Germany-Argentina contest drew 14.1 million viewers, which translates to a 20 percent decline for Fox in its inaugural men's Final. Fox's average household rating marked a 17 percent drop-off compared to the 7.5 rating ABC drew in 2014.