The U.S. women’s national soccer team’s games outearned the male team from 2016 to 2018, according to a new report.
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The women’s team’s games generated $50.8 million in revenue from 2016 to 2018 compared to the male team’s games which made $49.9 million, according to U.S. soccer’s audited financial statements obtained by The Wall Street Journal. The media outlet reported in 2016 — a year after the women’s soccer team took home the World Cup — the team “generated $1.9 million more than the men.”
“The event revenue from the USWNT demonstrates the potential that can be realized when investment is made,” Becca Roux, the executive director of the U.S. women’s national team’s players association, told The Wall Street Journal. “While there is still a long way to go, I applaud U.S. Soccer, their partners, and our partners for the new marketing initiatives over the past couple of years. I hope it serves as a case study and example for other federations around the world to emulate.”
The report comes as the women’s national team is engaged in a legal battle to receive the same pay as their male counterparts.
A group of 28 members of the women’s national team, including superstars Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, sued the U.S. Soccer Federation in March, alleging in a federal suit that the governing body has engaged in “institutionalized gender discrimination” and violations of the Equal Pact Act.
The women’s team is currently looking to win their fourth World Cup title in Paris. Their 3-0 win over Chile Sunday set a record for the most-watched group-stage Women’s World Cup match on U.S. English-language television.
Fox drew 5,324,000 viewers for Sunday's game, topping 4,492,000 for the Americans' 0-0 group-stage draw against Sweden in 2015. The game was the most-watched English-language soccer telecast in the country since last year's men's World Cup final. In addition, Sunday's match averaged 84,000 viewers online, the second-most streamed Women's World Cup match.
The U.S. has advanced to the knockout stage and will finish group play on Thursday against Sweden. The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup matches begin on June 7 and all games will be live on Fox Sports. Fox Corp is the parent company of FOX Business, Fox News and Fox Sports.
Fox Business’ Thomas Barabbi and The Associated Press contributed to this report.