LOS ANGELES — The women’s U.S. soccer team’s match against France had 6.3 million viewers on FOX and FOX streaming services as well as 8.2 million viewers on television alone, according to Nielsen ratings.
On Friday, Team USA moved on to the semifinals after defeating France 2-1 thanks to two goals scored by Megan Rapinoe.
The latest numbers make the match the most-watched FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal in the U.S. It’s also the most-watched soccer match on English-language TV since the 2018 men’s World Cup final.
The numbers come as the U.S. women’s soccer team and the U.S. Soccer Federation agreed to take a lawsuit filed by the 28-member team over pay inequality to mediation. The women filed the suit against the nonprofit in March and placed things on hold as they headed to the tournament.
In the suit, the U.S. Women’s National Team claimed U.S. Soccer paid them less than the men’s national team despite performing similar job duties for the same employer. The team also said they’ve outperformed the men and supported the claim by listing examples of their “unparalleled success in international soccer.”
Those accomplishments include winning three World Cup titles, four Olympic gold medals and maintaining a No. 1 ranking around the world for 10 out of the last 11 years.
Now the women have more to share in their accomplishments with the recent viewership numbers as well as recent audit reports indicating that their soccer games generate more revenue than the men’s games.
USWNT’s home jerseys have also become the most-sold soccer jersey ever — for men or women — in a single season on Nike’s website, according to CEO Mark Parker, who mentioned the feat during the company’s earnings call last week.
Women’s World Cup games have seen a 7 percent increase in viewership compared to the 2015 quarterfinals that also showed strong viewership numbers, according to Forbes.
FIFA estimates at least 1 billion viewers around the world will have watched the Women’s World Cup when it ends on Sunday.
USWNT will battle it out on the pitch against England during the semifinals on Tuesday at 3 p.m. EST.
Watch the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup on FOX from June 7 through July 7.