2ND UPDATE, 1:40 PM: We know the winner of yesterday’s World Cup final was Germany, but it looks like ABC/ESPN and Univision scored too. Both broadcasters had their best World Cup ever this year, with ESPN/ABC up 39% in viewership over the 2010 World Cup and up 96% over the 2006 World Cup. Over the 64 games of this year’s tournament, Univision was up 34% from its total audience from 2010.
Broadcasting live on ABC on Sunday afternoon, the Germany’s 1-0 victory over Argentina in a game that went extra time was watched by 17.324 million viewers with an average rating of 9.1. That marks the most-watched men’s soccer final ever for the Disney-owned properties and the third-most-watched soccer game ever in the U.S., behind only the 18.22 million who watched USA-Portugal on ESPN on June 22 and the 17.95 million who saw Team USA win the Women’s World Cup final in 1999 over China. Sunday’s final was the most-watched World Cup championship game in U.S. Spanish-language TV history with an average total audience of 9.2 million (5.0 million adults 18-49), with the broadcaster out-delivering ABC in the big Miami and LA markets.
1st UPDATE, 7:40 AM: Sunday’s nailbiter final between Germany and Argentina was a World Cup ratings record for ABC/ESPN . The 1-0 victory that brought Germany its fourth World Cup got a 9.7 rating in metered market results. That’s the best of any game of this year’s tournament and the third best that any World Cup game ever has done Stateside. Only the 1994 final between Brazil and Italy with its 12.8 and the Round of 16 match between the USA and Brazil (10.4) that same year have ever done better than yesterday afternoon’s game, which was broadcast on ABC. The 1994 World Cup was held in the United States, by the way. Coverage for yesterday’s game played in Rio peaked in the extra time of the game around 2:15 – 2:30 PM PT with a 14.2 rating. The top local market for ABC/ESPN was Washington D.C. which had a 15.4 metered market result. We’ll update with more ratings from yesterday’s match when we get them. Overall 64 games of the 2014 World Cup, ESPN, ESPN 2 and ABC had a 3.1 metered market average rating result – a 29% increase over the last World Cup four years ago from South Africa.
PREVIOUS, 1:50 AM: On Sunday, Germany became the first European team to ever win a World Cup on South American soil. In another record-breaking turn, the match scored the biggest ever TV audience in Germany. Overnight ratings have 34.65M tuning into ARD for the final. That beat the 32.57M average of the previous record holder, last Tuesday’s face-off with Brazil. The audience share, however, was slightly lower on Sunday with 86.3% versus Tuesday’s 87.8%. Overnight Stateside ratings will be in from ABC and Univision later in the day.
Facebook has also weighed in with record numbers this morning. The social networking site says that 88M people had more than 280M interactions related to the final. That includes 10.5M people in the U.S., 10M in Brazil, more than 7M in Argentina and 5M in Germany. The match broke the record for the highest level of Facebook conversation for any single sporting event in history. The previous champ was Super Bowl XLVII on Feb 3, 2013 with 245M interactions.
Elsewhere on social media, the final set a new Twitter record with 618,725 tweets per minute when the final buzzer sounded. In total, 32.1M tweets were sent during the match. That was the 2nd biggest score for the microblog after it exploded last Tuesday with 35.6M during the Germany-Brazil game which became the most-discussed sporting event in its history.
As for other European TV ratings, 13.35M in France watched their neighbors across the Rhine proceed to victory off of Mario Götze’s exquisite 113th-minute goal. That was worth 61% of the market for TF1, but fell below the 2010 final between Spain and the Netherlands (14.1M) and the 2006 final that saw France lose to Italy (22.14M). In Spain, an average 10.6M tuned in to Telecinco with a peak of 12.7M and a 67.7 share at the end of play. In the UK, a peak audience of 20.64M watched the final across BBC One and ITV. The BBC had a high of 16.72M viewers with a 61.4 share at 10:30 PM local. ITV netted a high of 3.96M and a 13.8 share at 9:45 PM. BBC One averaged 12.09M and a 50.3 share, ITV had an average 2.86M for a 12.1 share throughout the match. In 2010, the BBC’s final coverage peaked with 17.9M, ITV hit 3.8M, both during extra time.