The USA soccer team may not have qualified for the World Cup, but Fox Sports is still seeing a surge in app downloads as soccer fans seek to stream tournament matches. The Fox Sports app was the 3rd most downloaded iPhone app in the US last Monday, according to app analyst App Annie.
This is particularly remarkable given its astronomical rise: on June 7, the same application had not even ranked in the Top 1000 most downloaded iPhone applications in the United States.
The Fox Sports app has also had success on Android, where it was also not in the Top 1000 before the start of the World Cup. On June 18, it had become the 5th most downloaded application on Google Play.
Fox owns the English broadcast rights to the 2018 World Cup, with NBC’s Telemundo airing and broadcasting the tournament in Spanish. Fox airs a small portion of games on its broadcast channel, but has relegated most of them to Fox Sports, while also streaming every game through the Fox Sports app.
According to App Annie, Fox Sports uses good old-fashioned SEO to ensure football fans find its app on app stores. The network changed the name of the app to “FOX Sports: FIFA World Cup” and “FOX Sports: Watch FIFA World Cup 2018 Live” in time for the start of the Cup. The app has also received updated keywords to attract more World Cup-specific search traffic.
This kind of search optimization seems to be paying off: the app ranked #2 among sports apps on the Apple App Store and Google Play earlier this week, according to App Annie.