Even Telemundo is way down. Its audience is all trying to get into the US.
The quote below from BDK's article explains a lot. If you take out US games from 2010 and 2014, viewership is close when you account for time zone change. This year is in Russia which is the furthest off time zone in the past 3 World Cups. The 2022 Cup in Qatar will be similar taking out US games.
Excluding games involving the U.S. team in previous World Cups, the average declined 28 percent from the 2014 tournament in Brazil and was up 1 percent from the 2010 tournament in South Africa.
Most group-stage kickoff times this year were morning EDT, starting as early as 6 a.m., and the latest matches began at 2 p.m. Games in 2014 started mostly from noon to 4 p.m. EDT, while in 2010 games there were many matches at 10 a.m. and some as early as 7:30 a.m.
Twenty-six group-stage matches were aired on Fox, up from six on ABC in 2014 and four on ABC in 2010.
Ratings include only television viewers and not those who viewed digital streams.
2022 in Qatar will be interesting. Because FIFA decided (i.e. was bribed mightily) to stage that World Cup in a desert country with no soccer stadiums, they're running that World Cup in the colder months of November and December (they final will be on December 18th of that year). Normally the World Cup runs into relatively no sports interference in the US as baseball is the only sport running at that time and is just in mid-season. Now, the World Cup will be going up against the heart of college football season, the NFL as it moves into the final months of its regular season, not to mention college basketball, NBA basketball, and heck, even that NHL thing that 89 keeps talking about. It will be a shortened schedule for the World Cup (again, due to FIFA picking Qatar), but I don't see it doing well in terms of ratings in the US when it goes up against all of those sports, especially considering they'll still have the factor of a bad time zone difference as well.