Sunday’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals between the United States and Japan – which crowned Japan as tournament champion on a penalty shootout after the match ended in a 2-2 tie – was seen by an average 13.458 million viewers, based on a 7.4 U.S. household rating (8.58 million household impressions), making it the most-watched and highest-rated soccer telecast on an ESPN network, based on fast nationals by the Nielsen Company.
The USA-Japan thriller bests the USA-Algeria men’s match (June 23, 2010) from last summer’s FIFA World Cup, which set the previous ESPN records for both ratings and viewership – 6.16 million viewers, based on a 4.0 household U.S. rating (4.58 million households).
The match also ranks as the sixth most-viewed soccer telecast ever in the United States.
Most-Viewed Soccer Events in the United States:
|Date||Match||Network||U.S. Rating||P2+ (Viewers)|
|Sat., July 10, 1999||USA vs. China – Final||ABC||11.4||17,975,000|
|Sun., July 11, 2010||Netherlands vs. Spain – Final||ABC||8.4||15,905,000|
|Sat., June 26, 2010||USA vs. Ghana – Round of 16||ABC||8.5||15,193,000|
|Sun., July 17, 1994||Italy vs. Brazil – Final||ABC||9.5||14,510,000|
|Mon., July 4, 1994||Brazil vs. USA – Round of 16||ABC||9.3||13,694,000|
|Sun., July 17, 2011||USA vs. Japan – Final||ESPN||7.4||13,458,000|
|Sun., July 9, 2006||Italy vs. France – Final||ABC||7.0||11,961,000|
Additional highlights from yesterday’s Finals:
- The second most-watched daytime telecast (Monday – Sunday, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.) in cable history, behind the Rose Bowl on ESPN (20.557 million viewers on Jan. 1, 2011).
- The sixth most-watched cable telecast of the year;
- Excluding NFL games, the fifth most-watched sports telecast on ESPN, trailing only the 2011 BCS games.
Baltimore was the top market for yesterday’s Women’s World Cup Finals, delivering a 12.3 rating. Rounding out the top five were: San Diego (11.8), West Palm Beach (11.7), Washington, D.C. (11.5), and Norfolk, Va. (11.1).
Digital – USA-Japan Delivers Record Audience for Women’s Sports on ESPN3.com:
The thrilling Women’s World Cup Finals delivered over 548,000 unique viewers on ESPN3.com, the most ever for a women’s sporting event, and the second largest audience for a non-2010 FIFA World Cup event on the broadband sports network. Additionally, it ranks eighth overall among all events on ESPN3.com.
Across ESPN3.com, ESPNnetworks.com and the WatchESPN app, the game logged a total of 38.6 million minutes consumed, ranking third overall for all non-2010 FIFA World Cup events. The iPad logged the highest average time spent viewing an event via the WatchESPN app at 38 minutes on ESPN3.
From June 26 to July 17, Women’s World Cup content across ESPN.com, ESPNsoccernet and espnW.com generated 16 million page views and 12 million visits. On ESPN Mobile, fans followed the championship game live via Gamecast, which was visited 739,000 times yesterday.