The United States’ 2-1 win over Ecuador, which clinched a spot in the semifinals of the 2016 Copa America Centenario, averaged 2.132 million viewers on FS1 Thursday, according to Nielsen Media Research.
That ranks as the most-watched men’s soccer match in the network’s history, the Americans’ third consecutive Copa America match to set that record.
The third straight U.S. win puts the team in the semifinals and sets up a potential showdown with Lionel Messi and world No. 1-ranked Argentina. The heavily-favored Argentines face upstarts Venezuela in a Saturday quarterfinal (coverage begins at 6:30 PM ET Saturday on FX), with the winner facing the United States Tuesday night in Houston. A special two-hour pregame show kicks off at 7:00 PM ET Tuesday, live from Houston’s NRG Stadium on FS1.
With a highly competitive evening of sports programs, fans also turned to second screen viewing options. Last night’s USA vs. Ecuador match was the most-viewed U.S. men’s soccer match ever on FOX Sports GO and the seventh most-watched authenticated event ever on the platform, tallying 150,235 unique streamers and an average audience per minute of 70,089, bringing the match’s overall viewership to more than 2.2 million across FOX Sports platforms.
The quarterfinal win also guarantees the U.S. will play at least two more Copa America matches, either in the championship game on Sunday, June 26, with a semifinal win, or the third-place game on Saturday, June 25, with a loss.
The 2016 Copa America Centenario has produced four of the top five men’s soccer ratings in FS1 history, as viewership for the four U.S. matches has grown throughout the tournament. The United States’ 2-0 loss to No. 3-ranked Colombia delivered 1.536 million viewers on June 3; then on June 7, 1.6 million viewers tuned in to see the United States’ crucial 4-0 win over Costa Rica. The third match, in which the Americans clinched a spot in the quarterfinals with a 1-0 win over Paraguay on June 11, averaged 2.061 million viewers, the previous record for the most-watched men’s soccer match in FS1 history.
Coming into the tournament, the previous FS1 record for men’s soccer was the 2015 CONCACAF CUP (1.561 million viewers), the one-match winner-take-all playoff between arch rivals Mexico and the United States for a coveted spot in the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup, the prolific World Cup warm-up tournament FOX Sports will air next summer from Russia.