Highest-Rated Non-U.S. World Cup Match Ever on ESPN/ESPN2
ESPN’s telecast of Tuesday’s Brazil vs. Germany FIFA World Cup semifinal match – a 7-1 German victory and Brazil’s first loss in a competitive home match in 63 games (since 1975) – ranks as the highest-rated and most-viewed World Cup semifinal match ever on any U.S. network, according to Nielsen. Brazil-Germany averaged a 4.2 US household rating and 6,643,000 viewers, based on fast nationals. ESPN’s television coverage peaked in the final half hour of the match (5:30–6 p.m. ET) with a 4.6 rating and 7.5 million viewers.
The previous best World Cup semifinal was a 3.4 rating (5,850,000 viewers) for Germany-Italy on ESPN during World Cup 2006 in Germany. Yesterday’s match also represents increases of 56 percent (2.7 rating) and 58 percent (4,204,000 viewers) over the comparable Uruguay-Netherlands semifinal four years ago in South Africa.
Excluding U.S. team matches, Brazil-Germany is the highest-rated World Cup match ever on ESPN/ESPN2, surpassing the 4.0 rating for Mexico-Netherlands (6,571,000 viewers) from the Round of 16 (June 29).
Top 10 markets for Brazil-Germany: New York (7.5), Hartford/New Haven (6.4), Washington, DC (5.8), San Francisco (5.8), Miami/Ft. Lauderdale (5.6), Boston (5.5), West Palm Beach (5.5), Los Angeles (5.0), Baltimore (4.9) and Richmond/Petersburg (4.8)
To date, the highest-rated markets on the ESPN networks are: Washington, DC (4.6), New York (4.3), San Francisco (4.1), Los Angeles (3.7), San Diego (3.7), Hartford/New Haven (3.6), Orlando (3.5), Miami/Ft. Lauderdale (3.5), Richmond/Petersburg (3.4) and West Palm Beach (3.3)
Significant TV Viewership Increases Over 2010 and 2006
Through 61 matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC are averaging 4,233,000 viewers and a 2.6 US household rating per match. The 2014 audience marks increases of 43 percent (vs. 2,967,000 in 2010) and 107 percent (2,042,000 in 2006) in viewers, and 37 percent (vs. 1.9 in 2010) and 86 percent (1.4 in 2006) in ratings. (Note: Ratings and viewership numbers are based on the specific match windows, not including pre-match studio coverage.)
ESPN Digital establishes new highs for World Cup semifinal match
2.1 million unique viewers watched the Brazil vs. Germany semifinal on WatchESPN for a total of nearly 90 million minutes, the highest numbers ever for a non-U.S. team soccer match, providing a 10 percent lift to ESPN’s English-language television viewership.
ESPNFC.com had 9.8 million video starts, up more than 2,000 percent over the comparable day for World Cup 2010 and the best ever mark for that platform. Also, ESPN’s SportsCenter app had 3.6 million unique users, a 484 percent gain from the comparable day in 2010.