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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Fox Doubling Ad Prices For USA vs. England World Cup Match

  • Fox is seeking $600K per 30-second spot for the highly anticipated Black Friday showdown.
  • That’s roughly double the $300,000 price tag for ad time during other match telecasts.
USMNT striker Timmothy Weah celebrates with teammates after scoring his first World Cup goal
Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

With excitement building on both sides of the Atlantic, Fox Sports has doubled advertising prices for its telecast of Friday’s big World Cup match between the USA and England (2 p.m. ET).

Fox is charging advertisers $600,000 for 30-second commercial spots during its coverage of the Black Friday showdown in Qatar, said sources. That’s roughly double the $300,000 price tag for ad time during other match telecasts.

The increase might be even higher. Bloomberg previously reported Fox was charging $700,000 per 30-second spot for the USA vs. England match.

Fox Corp’s Fox Sports and NBCUniversal’s Telemundo agreed to pay a combined $1 billion for English-language and Spanish-language rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in the U.S. But both networks are facing tricky challenges.

The World Cup is normally held in the summer. But the searing summer heat in Qatar pushed it back to the fall.

That means Fox and Telemundo’s coverage now has to compete against NFL, NBA, and NHL games in the U.S. market. Not to mention college football and college basketball coverage.

It’s early but the U.S. TV numbers for Qatar have been a mixed bag. Viewership for the World Cup Opener Sunday were strong, with Fox and Telemundo averaging over 7 million viewers.

But Fox’s English language coverage for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s first match — a 1-1 tie with Wales on Monday — lagged behind previous World Cups in 2014 and 2010.

USMNT Christian Pulisic reaches for leg in pain during World Cup match against Wales

US World Cup Opener Viewership Lags Behind Last Two Appearances

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Analysts predict Fox could fetch as much as $125 million in ad revenue from the World Cup.

The price hike makes sense given the amicable relationship between the two countries — and the growing popularity of soccer in the United States.

The Premier League’s 2021-22 season across NBC’s channels was the second-most-watched ever with 507,000 average viewers per TV match window — trailing only the 2015-16 season, which saw Leicester City win an unprecedented EPL title.

  • The 2021-22 viewership was a 21% increase from the 2020-21 campaign.
  • A record 12 matches averaged at least 1M viewers.
  • The season’s Championship Sunday was also the most watched in U.S. history with 2.2 million average viewers across all of NBC’s platforms.

Any United States-United Kingdom crossover event tends to get eyeballs.

The 2018 royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attracted a whopping 29.2 million viewers in the U.S. — well more than the 22.8 million who tuned in for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 royal wedding.

Still, the Three Lions and the Yanks have a ways to go if they’re going to have the most-watched U.S. soccer game in history.

That honor belongs to the USWNT, whose win over Japan in the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final attracted 25.4 million viewers.

Fox could not be reached for comment.

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