ESPN’s telecast of Tuesday’s USA vs. Belgium FIFA World Cup match – a 2-1 U.S. loss in extra time – averaged a network record 9.6 overnight rating, making it the highest overnight rating for a World Cup match on ESPN or ESPN2, according to Nielsen. ESPN’s television coverage peaked from 5:45 – 6 p.m. ET with a 14.1 rating while WatchESPN peaked at 1,500,000 concurrent viewers.
ESPN’s coverage posted a five percent increase over a Saturday afternoon telecast of the United States’ loss to Ghana in the 2010 World Cup Round of 16 (a 9.1 rating on ABC). When including ABC, Tuesday’s telecast ranks behind the 1994 final and USA vs. Brazil round of 16 matches for largest metered market rating.
Including yesterday’s record audience, ESPN has posted its six highest metered market ratings for the men’s World Cup during the 2014 event.
The top-10 metered markets: New York (15.0), Hartford/New Haven (13.2), Washington, D.C., (12.8), Richmond (12.3), Boston (12.2), West Palm Beach (12.0), Baltimore (11.4), Cincinnati (11.4), San Diego (11.0), Columbus (10.8), Norfolk (10.8) and Orlando (10.8)
To date, the highest-rated markets on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC are: Washington DC (4.5), New York (4.2), San Francisco (3.9), Los Angeles (3.6), San Diego (3.5), Orlando (3.5), Hartford/New Haven (3.5), Miami/Fort Lauderdale (3.4), West Palm Beach (3.4), Richmond (3.3) and Boston (3.3).
Fast national ratings and viewership numbers are expected to be available this afternoon.
Quarterfinals Kick Off
ESPN’s month-long coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup will continue with the quarterfinals, beginning Friday, July 4, with France vs. Germany (11:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2) and Brazil vs. Colombia (3:30 p.m., ESPN), followed by two matches on Saturday, July 5: Argentina vs. Belgium (11:30 a.m., ABC) and Netherlands vs. Costa Rica, 3:30 p.m., ESPN). Each quarterfinal match will also be available on ESPN3, WatchESPN or WATCH ABC, and ESPN Radio.