The USWNT is grabbing big numbers as they progress through the 2016 Olympics.
They opened against New Zealand with an average of 1.3 million viewers, which was over double the viewership they got for their opening game against France in 2012.
In their second game against France, that number jumped to 2.9 million.
And now in their final group game against Colombia, they managed 3.6 million, which is more viewers than they got for any game in 2012 except for the gold-medal match against Japan.
These are all great numbers and they’ll probably increase as the Olympics continue and the stakes get higher in knockout rounds - and as other sports finish and Americans tune in to the events that are still ongoing. Those evening times on weekdays definitely didn’t hurt either, instead of airing live earlier in the day. The United States could be facing old foes like Brazil and Canada, or could get a rematch against France, all of which could give their numbers a good bump.
As we saw with the 2015 World Cup, the team is definitely capable of drawing big numbers - that final against Japan drew 23 million viewers on Fox Soccer. Of course, in the Olympics, the team has to compete with dozens of other sports taking place, but these are extremely healthy numbers and a positive sign for increasing engagement with women’s soccer.
Next up: the United States plays Sweden, coached by former WNT head coach Pia Sundhage. That game kicks off at 12 PM ET on Friday, August 12 on NBCSN.