The official number of Women’s World Cup streaming viewers was much lower than the real number. Here’s why.
The official number of TV and streaming viewers (0:30)
According to Nielsen, the Women’s World Cup Final did very well for a non-primetime event in the U.S. Fox, which carried the game, said that the number of people streaming the game increased 400% since the last final in 2015, making it the most streamed Women’s World Cup Final ever. However, Fox’ streaming number leaves out the biggest group of streaming viewers.
The number of vMVPD subscriptions (1:52)
The TV viewing numbers provided by Nielsen include viewers watching through virtual MVPD services like Sling TV and YouTube TV. The vMVPD viewers need to be included with the official count of streaming viewers.
To get the number of vMVPD viewers, we first need to know how many vMVPD subscriptions there are. Nielsen’s estimate for this appears to be very low. Adding up official figures and estimates for the number of subscribers for significant services like Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Hulu Live, and YouTube TV yields a much higher number than the Nielsen estimate.
The number of vMVPD World Cup Final streamers (3:22)
To estimate the number vMVPD homes that watched the game, we can look at TV ratings for top markets like Austin, San Diego, Seattle, Washington, Kansas City, Portland, San Francisco, and LA. Those markets suggest a reasonable estimate for vMVPD households is 10% viewing the game.
In other words, the streaming audience was four-times as big as the size reported by Fox. In total, 8% of the audience for the game watched it streamed. Around 7% of the 2019 Super Bowl watched the game streamed.