UPDATE, 12:19PM: The USA’s 1-0 loss to Germany yesterday at the World Cup stayed in a solid second and third place. Not that America won’t advance in the tournament but in terms of ratings and viewership the game was the second-highest-rated and the third-most-watched men’s World Cup match ever on ESPN or ESPN2, says the sports channel. The broadcast averaged a 6.7 rating, beating the 6.3 rating that the USA vs. Ghana game got on June 16 but behind 9.6 rating that the USA vs. Portugal match of June 22. Viewer-wise, the Germany game was watched by 10.77 million yesterday. That’s ESPN’s biggest non-holiday weekday broadcast ever. Over on Univision, 3.4 million viewers watched the game. That was the most viewed match of the day on a day that saw Portugal vs. Ghana among other games.
Overall, ESPN has seen its largest World Cup viewership ever over the first 48 matches. In a 46% rise from the 2010 World Cup, the games in Brazil are 3.54 million viewers and a 2.2 rating.
PREVIOUS, 7:25AM: Thursday’s USA vs. Germany World Cup match may have ended with the European side winning 1-0, but America did enough to advance to the knockout round. On the TV side, however, yesterday’s game was a solid win for ESPN. With people all across the country ducking out of work to watch, the early weekday game got a 6.3 overnight rating, the network’s third-highest-rated World Cup men’s game ever. Nielsen said coverage peaked from 1:45-2 PM ET with a 9.5 rating.
Demand for the USA-Germany game was intense enough that the live stream on ESPN’s WatchESPN app crashed soon after the game started. About 1.4 million watched WatchESPN for the first half. Overall, WatchESPN attracted a record 1.7 million viewers during the game Thursday, though the offerings included the concurrent Portugal-Ghana game and Wimbledon.
On average, the game didn’t beat ESPN’s World Cup record of a 9.1 overnight rating for Sunday’s group matchup between Team USA and Portugal. That heartbreaking game for American fans, who saw their side’s win dashed when Silvestre Varela headed in the ball to the U.S. net in the 95th minute to tie the score 2-2, stands as the most-watched U.S. soccer match ever with 18.22 million viewers. Viewership on Univision was also a record with 6.5 million watching, the most viewers ever for a U.S. match on the Spanish-language network.
Team USA’s World Cup opener this year, versus Ghana on June 16, is No. 2 ratings-wise for ESPN with a 7.0 overnight.