A combined audience of more than 50 million viewers tuned in for Sunday’s (December 18) FIFA World Cup final across the US, Canada, and Mexico, which will jointly host the next edition of the tournament in 2026.

In the US, Argentina’s penalty shootout victory over France following a dramatic 3-3 draw was watched by 16.8 million on national network Fox and 5.5 million on Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo.

The match averaged an additional 3 million viewers on NBC-owned Telemundo’s streaming platforms, including Peacock. The full Telemundo and Peacock audience across TV and streaming was 9 million, up 65% from the 2018 World Cup.

This took the combined audience across all US outlets to around 25.8 million, making it the most ever for a men’s match in the country. It ranks second all-time for any soccer match in the US behind the 2015 women’s World Cup final, which drew a combined 26.7 million viewers on Fox and Telemundo.

The 3-million digital audience on Telemundo made it the most-streamed match in US media history, regardless of language.

The linear TV audience peaked at a combined 33.34 million in the final quarter-hour of the game, as Argentina won on penalties – including 25.62 million viewers on Fox and 7.72 million on Telemundo.

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The viewership for the final was up 31% compared to the 2018 edition, which averaged 17.83 million on Fox and Telemundo. On Fox, viewership increased 25.5% from France’s win over Croatia four years ago.

Before Sunday’s final, USA’s 0-0 draw with England in the group stage drew the largest audience of the tournament with 15.4 million tuning in.

In Canada, meanwhile, Argentina’s first World Cup triumph since 1986 attracted an average audience of 4.8 million on broadcasters TSN, CTV, RDS, and Noovo.

The audiences for the final marked an increase of 23% from the 2018 final, while the match broke streaming records, becoming the most-watched live-streaming event in TSN and RDS history.

Overall, the final in Qatar reached more than 10 million unique Canadian viewers, with audiences peaking at 7.7 million viewers. The match also led to TSN and CTV ranking as the first and second-most-watched networks of the day on Sunday, respectively.

The World Cup attracted big audiences on TSN, CTV, and RDS throughout the month, as 24 million Canadians – 62% of the country’s population – tuned in to watch some part of the showpiece tournament.

In Mexico, 15 million viewers watched the final on commercial broadcaster TV Azteca’s sports channel Azteca Deportes. The viewership peaked at 15.3 million.

A further 9.4 million tuned in on sports network TUDN’s Canal 5, while US-based Spanish-language media giant TelevisaUnivision’s Las Estrellas TV network drew 8.1 million viewers.

Elsewhere, in Argentina, an average audience of 6.3 million saw the national team’s triumph on TyC Sports, the pay-television sports service, while free-to-air broadcaster TV Publica secured a record viewership.