It all started with the second game of the 2021 SheBelieves Cup on Thursday, Feb. 18, when the USWNT and Canada stepped on the pitch at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla., for a Concacaf showdown. The clash between the two North American powerhouses resulted in a 1-0 victory for the USA after a heroic performance from Manchester City's Rose Lavelle, who scored the game-winner in the 79th minute.
The Stars and Stripes' victory over rivals Canada registered 498,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1, making it the most-watched SheBelieves Cup match at the time in the tournaments' six-year history. Also, the 498,000 viewers marked a 78 percent rise in viewership from the 2019 SheBelieves Cup average.
The USWNT played Pia Sundhage's Brazil next on Sunday, Feb. 21, again at Exploria Stadium. The game featured some of the National Women's Soccer League's finest international players in Brazil's Marta and Debinha, adding more appeal to the fixture. Nonetheless, the Americans claimed their second victory of the tournament thanks to a sturdy backline, and goals from Manchester United's Christen Press and OL Reign's Megan Rapinoe.
FS1's broadcast of the USA's 2-0 triumph over Brazil tallied 568,000 viewers, beating the record set on opening day for the most-watched SheBelieves Cup game in history. Additionally, the broadcast became the third most-viewed USWNT match – non-Women's World Cup – on FS1. The 568,000 figure meant a 103 percent rise from the 2019 SheBelieves Cup average.
Lastly, the USA's 6-0 win over Argentina to seal the title in the final game of the tournament clocked 530,000 viewers, totaling an average of 532,000 viewers over the three 2019 SheBelieves Cup games broadcasted on FS1.
The viewership numbers of this year's SheBelieves Cup are a continuation of a growing interest in the women's game in the United States. In October 2020, CBS confirmed record-breaking domestic television audiences for its Challenge Cup and Fall Series.
Viewership reached its peak in the final of the NWSL Challenge Cup, which set a record of 653,000 viewers.