Press Release

Posted by Michael Humes on June 17, 2014

USA-Ghana: ESPN’s Highest-Rated Men’s Soccer Match Ever and WatchESPN’s Largest Audience

PRINT VERSIONFILED IN: Soccer, World Cup TAGGED:

  • ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Ratings Up 19 Percent Over 2010 to Date with Increases in Key Demos
  • WatchESPN Shows Significant Audience Increases
  • ESPN’s Highest-Rated Telecast Since January 6 BCS National Championship
  • Rating Record for World Cup in 16 Metered Markets, including Washington DC, Boston and New York

The United States’ thrilling 2-1 victory over Ghana in the 2014 FIFA World Cup on Monday, June 16, set numerous audience records for ESPN and WatchESPN.

  • ESPN’s telecast averaged a 6.3 US HH rating and 11,093,000 viewers, making it the highest-rated and most-viewed men’s soccer match – including 265 from the FIFA World Cup – on ESPN or ESPN2 on record, according to Nielsen.
  • The match also garnered a 469,000 average minute audience on WatchESPN, which set a product record for an event which had a total of 1,400,000 viewers and 62,400,000 minutes viewed for the contest.
  • USA vs. Ghana is ESPN’s highest-rated and most-viewed telecast since January 6 when its BCS National Championship coverage averaged a 14.4 US HH rating and 25,572,000 viewers (the third largest audience in cable history).
  • In addition to its record audience for USA vs. Ghana, WatchESPN generated its second best event ever in unique viewers for Monday’s Germany vs. Portugal contest with 1,100,000 viewers.
  • Washington, D.C., led all markets for ESPN’s USA vs. Ghana telecast with an 11.8 rating, followed by New York (10.2), Hartford-New Haven (10.1) and Boston (10.0) at a 10.0 rating or higher. The remaining top 10: Columbus, Ohio (8.9), Baltimore (8.7), Providence (8.4), Orlando (8.3), San Francisco (8.0) and Norfolk (7.8).
  • Boston’s 10.0 is the highest overnight ever in the market (on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC) for the men’s World Cup. An additional 15 markets recorded their highest overnight ever for a World Cup group-round match (on any network), including Washington, New York, Hartford, Baltimore, Providence and Orlando in the Top-10, and Buffalo, Charlotte, Dayton, Greensboro, Greenville, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Nashville, Portland and Richmond.

Audience Highlights Tournament to Date

  • ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC have combined to average a 2.5 US HH rating and 4,112,000 viewers through the first 14 matches, marking increases of 19 percent (vs. 2.1) and 23 percent (vs. 3,346,000), respectively, over the 2010 World Cup.
  • In addition, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC have posted significant increases in the key people and male demographics (18-34, 18-49 and 25-54) where the networks lead all networks in the United States that televises the World Cup action.
  • WatchESPN has averaged 247,000 viewers in the average minute across 14 World Cup matches, which represents a seven percent lift over the ESPN Networks’ English language TV audience for a total of 4,359,000 viewers across TV and WatchESPN.
  • In addition to Monday’s record telecast, 2014 World Cup coverage has delivered ESPN and ESPN2’s four highest-rated and most-viewed Group Play matches not involving a United States team on record.
  • In addition, WatchESPN has posted a 170 percent increase in viewers and 180 percent in minutes through the first 14 games, averaging 736,000 viewers and 31,900,000 minutes viewed per match.
  • Driven by the three World Cup matches on Monday, WatchESPN, posted its best day ever with 2,700,000 devices and 191,000,000 minutes viewed. It marks the third time since the World Cup began on Thursday, June 12, that WatchESPN has set a record for its best day.
  • Washington, D.C., continues to lead all markets for matches on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC through the first 14 games with a 5.0 average rating. San Francisco is second with a 4.4 followed by New York (4.1), Boston (3.8), Orlando (3.7), Los Angeles (3.7), Miami (3.7), Hartford (3.7), Atlanta (3.6) and (all tied) Seattle, West Palm Beach and San Diego (3.4). 

Upcoming ESPN World Cup Coverage
ESPN’s FIFA World Cup coverage continues today with three matches: Belgium vs. Algeria (11:30 a.m. ET, ESPN), host nation Brazil vs. Mexico (2:30 p.m., ESPN) and Russia vs. South Korea (5:30 p.m., ESPN). ESPN will also televise the next match for the United States (against Portugal) on Sunday, June 22, at 5:30 p.m. 

ESPN’s comprehensive coverage of the tournament includes all 64 matches televised live on ESPN, ESPN2, ABC, ESPN3 and WatchESPN, as well as 54 matches on ESPN Deportes and another 10 on ESPN Deportes+.  ABC’s matches will also available on WATCH ABC. Schedule.

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