Spoiler Alert if you haven’t seen matches…
UPDATE: 11:56 AM: The USA vs. Portugal World Cup match may have been a heartbreaking 2-2 tie, but it was a massive victory for both ESPN and Univision viewership-wise. The game is now the most watched U.S. soccer match ever with 18.22 million viewers. That tops the previous record of 17. 97 million who watched the U.S. beat China in the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final on ABC. Yesterday’s game peaked from 7:30 to 8 PM ET at 22.96 million – making it the most watched sporting event ever on ESPN except for NFL and college football games. Univision hit a viewership record too, with 6.5 million watching the game on the Spanish-language network yesterday — that’s the most viewers ever for a U.S. match on Univision.
PREVIOUS, 7:15 AM: ESPN’s broadcast of USA Team’s 2-2 tie against Portugal on Sunday night averaged a 9.1 overnight rating, making it the the highest overnight rating for a World Cup match on ESPN or ESPN2, according to Nielsen. Last night’s match bested the previous record high overnight rating for a men’s USA World Cup match on ESPN or ESNPN2 — a 7.0 overnight in last week’s Team USA’s match against Ghana. The broadcast also ranks as the third-highest Men’s World Cup match of any round on any ESPN network – tied for ABC’s USA vs. Ghana round of 16 match in 2010, and behind ABC’s presentations of the 1994 World Cup Final featuring Brazil vs. Italy (12.8 overnight rating), and the 1994 USA-Brazil round of 16 match (10.4 rating) The top-10 metered markets: Washington, D.C. (13.3), Columbus, Ohio (12.6), New York (12.5), Boston (11.5), Hartford & New Haven (11.3), Providence (11.2), Atlanta (11.1), Baltimore (11.0), Norfolk (10.5), and Orlando (10.5). To date, the highest-rated markets on the ESPN Networks are: Washington D.C. (5.0), New York (4.3), San Francisco (4.1), Orlando (3.8), and Los Angeles (3.7). Final ratings are expected later this afternoon.
PREVIOUS: This is fast becoming the World Cup of last-ditch goals. Team USA looked like it was going to clinch the match against Portugal last night until Silvestre Varela’s header in the 95th minute tied the score at 2-2. While we wait for fast nationals from ESPN and numbers from Univision later today, the UK has chimed in with what it thought of the match and, interestingly, it seems it didn’t pay that much attention. On BBC One, the face-off was seen by an average of 3.06M viewers for a 34.4 share. The game was played at 11 PM which likely hurt it in the ratings. For the day, Belgium’s 1-0 win over Russia was the most-watched with 3.96M tuned to BBC One in the afternoon. That was worth a 30.8 share. On ITV, the 8 PM local time meet-up between South Korea and Algeria drew 3.52M and a 17 share.
Meanwhile, governing body FIFA said today that international viewership of this World Cup is the biggest in history for the Group Stage. Highs have been hit in Brazil, Japan, Germany, the UK, Argentina, France, the Netherlands, Croatia and Italy, FIFA says. The U.S., Australia and Canada have also seen increases. Indeed, we expect substantial numbers out of the States later today.