Thanks to the viewership of a massive Spanish-speaking audience, Wednesday’s friendly between the U.S. and Mexico was the top rated show on U.S. television among a few key demographics, according to TV by the Numbers. Univision Communication’s coverage of the match was seen by 9.4 million viewers who tuned in to part or all of the broadcast as well as 25,000 devices that streamed the match through the company’s website.
Univision, the “leading media company serving Hispanic America”, scored big-time in the so-called key demographics for advertisers on the night. The match was the #1 show in primetime and made Univision the #1 network in primetime among Adults 18-34, Men 18-34, Men 18-49, and Persons 12-34. Some of the shows the match received higher ratings than included “America’s Got Talent”, “Big Brother 13″, and “So You Think You Can Dance”.
While the level of support for the Mexican national team in the U.S. has been well documented, these numbers again reinforce the idea that soccer is a huge driver of viewers for networks. Many of these viewers would have been watching Telefutura or Galavision, which come only in cable packages and not broadcast networks. Combined with the large number of viewers for other major soccer matches like the UEFA Champions League, you can expect to see broadcast networks begin to vie for matches in the future which they can cross promote or show on their Spanish language counterparts.
Of course this news comes in tandem with the criticism on ESPN’s coverage of the match, which saw them run a Little League World Series game over its time slot and bump the first twenty minutes of the friendly onto ESPN News. Numbers haven’t been released for the ESPN broadcast but we will share as soon as they come across our desk.