World Cup: Argentina-Netherlands Semi Nets Record Overnight Rating For ESPN

2ND UPDATE, 2:45 PM PT: Univision drew 5.2 million viewers for Wednesday’s Argentina-Netherlands match, which makes it the most-watched World Cup semifinal ever on the Spanish-language network.

UPDATE, 8:21 AM PT: ESPN’s telecast of Wednesday’s Argentina-Netherlands match in Sao Paulo averaged a 4.3 overnight rating and 6.82 million viewers. As with so many games in this tournament, that was a record for the network. It’s the highest overnight rating for a World Cup semifinal match on ESPN or ESPN2. The previous record was Tuesday’s thrashing of Brazil by Germany, which had a 4.1 in the overnights. Overall through 62 matches, the ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC networks are averaging a 3.0 metered market rating, a 30% jump on the first 62 matches in 2010. We’ll weigh in with numbers from Univision when they are made available. Otherwise, the next matches are Saturday’s 3rd place face-off between Brazil and the Netherlands, and the final on Sunday between Argentina and Germany.

PREVIOUS, 2:16 AM PT: And then there were two. After Germany’s crushing defeat of Brazil set it up for the World Cup final on Sunday, a loss on penalties by the Netherlands means that Argentina will also advance to the last match. Germany and Argentina previously faced off in the 1986 and 1990 finals. Argentina won the first one, Germany the second. We don’t have viewing numbers yet from Argentina, but Orange fans at home in Holland were out in droves to see their team fall out of the competition. More than 9M viewers tuned in to the match on Wednesday night local time. The 9.1M total made it the most watched game ever; overtaking the 2010 tournament final when Spain bested the Dutch team. That match, along with the Netherlands-Portugal semi in Euro 2004, drew 8.5M viewers. Last night’s face off peaked with 9.6M viewers in the Netherlands. In the more populous UK, ITV averaged 9.77M viewers and a 50.4 share. We will update with U.S. ratings from ESPN and Univision as soon as they are provided. Sunday will be Germany’s 8th appearance in a World Cup final, and will be the 4th for Argentina.

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