U.S. Women's World Cup triumph wins bigger TV ratings than men's 2018 final

The U.S. team celebrates with the World Cup trophy in France. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

More American TV viewers watched the women's U.S. soccer team win their 4th World Cup than tuned into the final of the men's tournament, Fox Sports first reported Monday, citing Nielsen figures.

Why it matters: Pressure is building on soccer's governing bodies to address gender pay disparities. The U.S. women's soccer team filed a lawsuit in March, accusing the United States Soccer Federation of "institutionalized gender discrimination." Democratic lawmakers, including 2020 candidates, have called for women players to be compensated fairly.

By the numbers: 14.27 million viewers tuned into Fox's TV and streaming services to watch Sunday's triumph over the Netherlands in France. In 2018, 12.5 million U.S. viewers watched the men's World Cup final.

The big picture: An equal pay petition for the U.S. women's soccer team had garnered more than 75,000 signatures by Tuesday morning.

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U.S. soccer bill to block 2026 World Cup funds until equal pay occurs

The U.S. team celebrates the France 2019 Women's World Cup final win over the Netherlands. Photo: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) introduced a bill Tuesday that would deny federal funding for the 2026 World Cup until the United States Soccer Federation agrees to provide equal pay for the men's and women’s U.S. national teams.

Why it matters: The U.S. is due to host the 2026 World Cup with Canada and Mexico. Pressure has been building on the soccer governing body to address gender disparities since the U.S. team won the Women's World Cup in Lyon, France on Sunday, triggering chants of "equal pay" from the crowd.

Go deeperArrowJul 10, 2019 - Politics

U.S. Soccer says women's national team paid more than the men's side

Megan Rapinoe (center) and other members of the World Cup-winning U.S. team at a New York ticker tape parade. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Soccer Federation released a letter Monday claiming that it's paid the World Cup champion women’s team more than the men’s national team in recent years — citing figures disputed by the U.S. Women's National Team.

Why it matters: Following the USWNT's 4th World Cup win this month, equal pay in sport has become a hot-button political issue. The letter's release comes ahead of mediation in the U.S. Women's National Team’s pay-equity lawsuit against the governing body, the Wall Street Journal notes.

Go deeperArrowJul 30, 2019 - Politics

U.S. Soccer sponsor P&G sides with women's team equal pay fight

Megan Rapinoe #15 of United States holds the 2019 FIFA World Cup Champion Trophy. Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

U.S. Soccer partner and sponsor Procter & Gamble donated more than $500,000 to the team's players association, signaling support “to be on the right side of history" on equal pay for all of its athletes, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: P&G's announcement, the first of its kind, could increase pressure on U.S. Soccer to resolve the players' federal gender discrimination lawsuit.

Go deeperArrowJul 14, 2019 - Business