Americans continue to warm up to soccer’s biggest event, with ratings for the World Cup coverage on ABC and ESPN up 60% from the 2006 tournament (1.9 verage rating through Friday vs. 1.2 four years ago, despite the fact that most of the matches this year air in the morning). The Friday match between U.S. and Slovenia on ESPN was the most watched soccer game in the history of the ESPN networks among households, 3.9 million. In total viewers, it was the third most watched ever with 5.2 million. Not bad for a game that started at 10AM EDT/7PDT. The match featured an epic comeback by the Americans, who earned a 2-2 draw after trailing 0-2 at halftime, and a big controversy over the U.S. team’s disallowed third goal. Most patriotic (or best in coming up with a good excuse to be late for work) were viewers in San Diego where the U.S./Slovenia match averaged an 8.5 rating.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s Thursday match against France, which the Mexicans won 2-0, averaged 5.8 million viewers on Univision, the largest audience on the Spanish-language network so far this World Cup.