Saturday’s United States-Ghana match on ABC – a 2-1 U.S. loss in extra time, which eliminated the Americans from the tournament – is the most-watched FIFA World Cup game among households and viewers. The 2.5 hour match window (2:30-5:12 p.m. ET) averaged an 8.2 rating, 9,455,000 households, and 14,863,000 viewers, based on fast nationals.
The U.S.-Ghana game ranks as the most-watched Men’s World Cup game ever, with only the 1999 Women’s Final (U.S.-China) averaging more households and viewers for a soccer game (11,307,000 households and 17,975,000 viewers). Additionally, the match ranks as the third highest-rated Men’s World Cup game on record, behind two matches in 1994 – 9.3 rating (U.S.-Brazil, Quarterfinal, 7/4/94) and 9.5 rating (Italy-Brazil, Final, 7/17/94). The 1999 Women’s World Cup Final (U.S.-China) also delivered an 11.4 rating.
The U.S.-Ghana match represents increases of 11% in ratings (vs. 7.4) and 13% in viewership (vs. 13,130,000) from ABC’s highly-anticipated U.S.-England World Cup game on June 12, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
The entire three-hour telecast (2-5:12 p.m.) — including 30 minutes of pre-match coverage – delivered a 7.5 household rating, 8,649,000 households, and 13,505,000 viewers.
San Diego was the top market for yesterday’s Team USA game, delivering a 15.4 rating. San Diego was the top market for all three previous U.S. matches – vs. England (11.5, ABC), vs. Slovenia (8.5, ESPN) and vs. Algeria (8.9, ESPN). Rounding out the top 10 for Saturday’s match were Washington, D.C. (13.8), San Francisco (13.3), Cincinnati (12.9), Las Vegas (11.7), Austin (11.4), Columbus, Ohio (10.6), Norfolk, Va. (10.6), Seattle-Tacoma (10.6) and West Palm Beach (10.5).
Also, ESPN’s Uruguay-South Korea Round of 16 match on Saturday morning delivered a 2.5 coverage rating (2.2 U.S. rating), 2,513,000 households, and 3,246,000 viewers.
Through 50 games of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the ESPN networks (ESPN/ESPN2/ABC) are averaging a 1.8 U.S. rating, 2,081,000 households, and 2,781,000 viewers. The rating is up 48% from 2006 (1.2), while household impressions are up 54% (from 1,349,000) and viewers are up 60% (from 1,740,000). (Note: Ratings and viewership numbers are based on the specific match windows, not including pre-match studio coverage.)
The 2010 FIFA World Cup continues with Round of 16 elimination matches through Tuesday, June 29, followed by quarterfinal games starting Friday, July 2, on ESPN and ABC. Coverage is also available on ESPN3.com, ESPN Radio, ESPN 3D, ESPN Mobile TV and ESPN Deportes.
ESPN Inc.’s 2010 FIFA World Cup Coverage in the United States
South Africa 2010 is ESPN’s seventh 2010 FIFA World Cup and coverage of the event is the most comprehensive in company history. ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will air all 64 matches live and in high definition. ESPN3.com, ESPN’s signature broadband network available in more than 50 million homes, will feature live English-language simulcasts of matches on ESPN and ESPN2. ESPN 3D will feature 25 matches. ESPN Mobile TV will show all matches. ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language all sports network, will air more than 50 matches in Portuguese live in the U.S., and ESPN Radio will broadcast all 64 matches. Additionally, ESPN will present television studio programming from site in South Africa, offering U.S. sports fans the most comprehensive news and information coverage throughout the month-long soccer showcase.