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Telemundo World Cup Matches Lead to Record Monday

NBCUniversal-owned Telemundo, the Spanish-language rights holder to the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, said it had its best-ever Monday daytime (7 a.m.-5 p.m. ET), averaging 1.4 million viewers for World Cup coverage, or 31% more than the record set last Monday (1.1 million). 

Famed soccer announcer Andres Cantor in a Telemundo branding video.

Famed soccer announcer Andres Cantor in a Telemundo branding video.

The Telemundo Deportes weekend coverage, with six group-stage matches, led the FIFA World Cup newcomer to an average 1.68 million viewers over the total day (6 a.m.-2 a.m. ET) viewers, compared with 846,000 viewers for Univision, Unimas, Azteca and Estrella, citing Nielsen figures. Telemundo Deportes said that through Saturday (29 matches) that its World Cup coverage had reached 25.7 million viewers.

Among other milestones thus far, Telemundo Deportes said the June 17 match when Mexico defeated Germany, 1-0, delivered 7.12 million viewers (7.41 including digital) for a Spanish-language U.S. record (since 1994). Mexico 2-1 win over South Korea on June 23 was close behind that with 6.6 million viewers -- and was "the most-watched livestream event in Spanish-language history," per Telemundo.

Mexico's presence, and the USA's absence, are key factors for Telemundo and Fox in this tournament. The lack of the U.S. team led to an overall ratings decline here compared to the numbers for ABC/ESPN and Univision in 2014. Telemundo and its advertisers will be depending on interest in the Mexico team and the relative youth and soccer passion of U.S. Hispanic homes, demographics that Nielsen recently noted. Update: despite losing its final group stage match, 3-0, to Sweden, Mexico is advancing to the knock-out stages of the tournament, having won its first two matches. Sweden and Mexico advance from their group, with Germany crashing out.

Related: Fox Sports Hoping For World Cup Ratings Rebound (blog)

Fox Sports, also presenting its first World Cup, said previously its coverage of the men's soccer tournament peaked on Saturday, when Germany beat Sweden on a dramatic stoppage-time goal by Toni Kroos. 

The three Saturday group-stage games on Fox broadcast averaged 3.875 million viewers, solidly above the the 2.125 million viewers Fox and FS1 telecasts had averaged through Game Day 10 of Fox's first FIFA World Cup.

Defending champion Germany's 2-1 come-from-behind win averaged 5.397 million viewers (5.636 million when streaming is added in) on Fox. At its peak the game hit 6.736 million viewers on Fox. The Mexico-South Korea match was second-best thus far for the tournament, averaging 4.433 million viewers (4.646 million including digital views), Fox Sports said, citing Nielsen. Belgium's 5-2 defeat of Tunisia 5-2 in the early morning averaged 1.951 million viewers, the biggest early morning match of the 2018 tournament so far. 

Related: World Cup Coming to North America in 2026

Fox and Telemundo share U.S. rights to FIFA World Cup games through the 2026 finals, which will be played in Canada, the United States and Mexico.

On the streaming front, Fox Sports said that through Day 10 it had racked up 906 million total minutes of streaming content, including matches, shoulder programming and VOD). The Germany-Sweden match was the top-performing streaming match of the day, with an average minute audience of 239,000 and 689,000 unique streamers. Saturday was the second-best day of the tournament for Snap, with 10.4 million Publisher Story views. Fox said it had tallied 90.5 million total story views through Day 10.

Read More: 2018 FIFA World Cup Coverage on Multichannel News

Telemundo Deportes said Tuesday that to date the tournament had reached 8.7 million unique viewers, generating 81.4 million livestreams (a Spanish-language record for a World Cup and 1.24 billion total minutes viewed.

Pictured, top: Edinson Cavani of Uruguay scores his team's third goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group A match between Uruguay and Russia at Samara Arena on Monday (June 25) in Samara, Russia. The match was one of three that led Telemundo to its its best-ever Monday daytime ratings.