More People Watched the U.S. Women Win the World Cup Than Watched Men Win Less Important Games, Like the NBA Finals

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Photo: Rich Lam/Getty Images

Sunday’s smashing Team USA victory in the Women’s World Cup scored some seriously stunning ratings, outperforming this year’s NBA Finals and at one point drawing nearly 31 million viewers to their screens. Overall, Nielsen estimates the full USA-Japan match averaged 25.4 million viewers on Fox last night, easily making it the most-watched soccer game ever in the United States. The U.S. women didn’t just set a record: They shattered it, drawing 39 percent more viewers than last summer’s non-championship match between the USA and Portugal (18.2 million), which had previously held the record. But the women’s team didn’t just outperform other U.S. soccer telecasts. Sunday’s telecast out-delivered the prime-time average of every TV show last season (including Sunday Night Football), the 2015 NCAA men’s basketball championship game, the 2015 NHL Finals, the final game of the 2014 World Series, and the prime-time average of last year’s Winter Olympics. In other words: Wow.