England vs Italy Hits 3 Million Viewers On ESPN To Break Euro Record

espn euro 2012 600x403 England vs Italy Hits 3 Million Viewers On ESPN To Break Euro Record

ESPN’s live coverage of the Euro 2012 quarter-final match between England against Italy was seen by an average viewing audience of 2.968 million, beating ESPN’s previous record audiences during Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 tournaments. The only previous European Championship match to beat the audience size for England-Italy was the Euro 2008 final, but that was shown on ABC, not ESPN, and had a viewing audience of 3.760 million.

ESPN’s live broadcast of England-Italy delivered a 2.4 overnight rating on Sunday, which was 50% greater than the comparable Euro 2008 quarter-final shown on ESPN between Italy and Spain.

The four UEFA EURO 2012 quarterfinal matches (June 21–24) delivered an average of 1.463 million television households and 1.918 million viewers – up 31 percent in both households (1.116 million) and viewers (1.459 million) compared to the quarterfinal round in 2008.

Through 28 matches (group stage and quarterfinals) of the UEFA European Football Championship 2012, ESPN’s live English-language presentation is averaging 889,000 households and 1,144,000 viewers — up 61 percent and 63 percent, respectively, versus the same 28 matches in 2008 (552,000 households and 703,000 viewers).

The top 10 metered markets through the group stage include: New York (1.9), Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (1.8), Providence (1.5), Los Angeles (1.3), Washington, DC (1.3), San Francisco (1.2), Richmond, Va. (1.2), Atlanta (1.2), Austin, Texas (1.2), and San Diego (1.1).

Last Sunday’s England vs. Italy on ESPN Deportes was viewed by an average of 424,000 Hispanic household, based on an 8.1 Hispanic household coverage rating, making it the most-watched UEFA European Football Championship match on the 24-hour Spanish-language sports network.  The telecast beat the network’s previous high – UEFA EURO 2008 final between Germany and Spain with 357,000 Hispanic household impressions.

On ESPN Deportes, the quarterfinals averaged a 5.5 Hispanic household coverage rating with 287,000 Hispanic houshold impressions – up 57 percent and 133 percent from 2008 respectively.  (In 2008, ESPN Deportes televised one of the four quarterfinal matches on delay.)

Through the 24 live matches in 2012, ESPN Deportes has delivered an average 3.5 Hispanic household coverage rating with 184,000 Hispanic HH impressions – up 46 percent and 117 percent respectively.  UEFA EURO 2012 news and information programming has also delivered strong ratings: Fuera de Juego Euro Edition has aired 42 live telecasts, averaging a 1.3 Hispanic household coverage rating with 68,000 Hispanic household impressions.

Through the quarterfinals (June 8-24) across computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox, ESPN3 and WatchESPN has logged an average minute audience of 83,607 per match and a total of 344.7 million live minutes to both English and Spanish language feeds.  On computers alone, there were a total of 2.1 million unique viewers.  Additionally, fans consumed 300.2 million live minutes on computers, up 688 percent compared to EURO 2008.

The England vs. Italy quarterfinal took the top spot as the new most watched match of the tournament thus far on ESPN3 and WatchESPN, logging 422,000 unique viewers, 27.8 million live minutes and an average minute audience of 147,745.

How does this compare to the Premier League audience numbers on US television? The largest viewing audience for a Premier League match on US TV was the tape-delayed game between Chelsea and Liverpool in November, 2011 which delivered an audience of 1.626 million on the free-to-air FOX network.

While the loss against Italy wasn’t what England fans wanted, the live broadcast of the match certainly delivered the results for ESPN.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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25 Responses to England vs Italy Hits 3 Million Viewers On ESPN To Break Euro Record

  1. Guy says:

    Now that England is out, it will be particularly interesting to see the ensuing numbers.

  2. Taimur says:

    I don’t think the numbers will be affected much. We still have four very good teams left in the tournament. England are rubbish compared to these four teams and if people want to stop watching the Euros because they are out, then it’s their loss. In that case, they better get used to watching less and less of international tournaments because England won’t get much further in any of them.

  3. Jon says:

    I’d imagine a Germany/Spain final will do huge numbers. If it ended up as Portugal/Italy, not as much.

  4. Styles9002 says:

    I think both semi-finals and the final will do very well on ESPN, especially so if it is Spain v Germany but regardless of which teams are in it will be a home run.

    I don’t think the fact that England are out will have any impact on viewership as the popularity of the Premier League is due to the fact that many of the world’s best players play there as opposed to it being English. It is similar to the ‘Wimbeldon effect’ where the event is very popular and intimately associated with England but no English players ever win it anymore or really threaten to win.

  5. huhe888 says:

    ESPN, Inc. has not released the most interesting number: median age.

    We can guess that the media age will be relatively low (i.e. high 20s to low 30s) compared to traditional U.S. sports, but how low?

    Only U.S. college sports have similar demographics due to built-in captive audiences on university campuses.

  6. Matt says:

    I honestly don’t think its England driving these numbers up…its Italy (at least he in the US), Italy are always one of the more highly watched NTs during Euros and World Cups. If I remember correctly, Italy-Spain in Euro 2008 was the highest rated match which wasn’t the final.

    England aren’t as popular in the US as ESPN wants us to believe, don’t get me wrong, they have their fans, but not as much as the massive immigrant populations living in the US

    • Matt says:

      or maybe its because I live in New Jersey and where I live pretty much everybody supports Italy haha

      • Dust says:

        “ESPN’s live broadcast of England-Italy delivered a 2.4 overnight rating on Sunday, which was 50% greater than the comparable Euro 2008 quarter-final shown on ESPN between Italy and Spain.”

        I think it is because you are in NJ

        • Matt says:

          nah what I meant was compared to the other Euro 2008 games

          Euro 2012 ratings in general are blowing the 2008 ones out the water

      • gbewing says:

        yes I watched Italy in group stages in a San Francisco cafe in Northbeach area while on vacation. Italian flags everywhere and every shop had the games on-

  7. Dust says:

    This is great for football in America, really great! Hopefully hopefully hopefully hopefully, fox see this and come to their senses and make fox soccer a basic cable item, premier league games kicking the snot out of baseball… then like a flash the in a land of dreams, baseball will die out?

    Please please please for the love of….it’s a 3/2 pitch…he swings…it’s a foul ball….his 12th swing and 9th foul ball of this at bat, zzzzzzzzzz….zzzzzzzzz….look some one fallen asleep in the out field…zzzzzzzzz..zzzzzzzzz…this outfielders snooze is sponsored by the sleep aid sports baseball fund, turn us on we’ll knock you out……….zzzzzzzzz

    • PhillySpur says:

      You’re an idiot.

      • Dust says:

        excellent, well argued point, and very compelling from a what i think is fair to say would be a sterotypical philli baseball fan.

        I was at a world series game when your Phillies lost, you are a phillies fan right?

        I have been to many many games, in an attempt to “embrace and get into the alleged sport”, i understand the game and its alleged intricacies and after spending way to much money, I arrived at the conclusion I should not fight the urge to leave the stadium due to boredom watching boring inning after a break after a boring inning followed by another break continuing for 3 plus hours. I’ve watched at wriggly field, Fenway park, (old) Yankee stadium, the colisium, at&t park, dodger stadium, petco park, heinz field, and while those are all great stadiums the games were just boring! Sorry, it just was, and I stand by my humorous comments at a sport that nearly died in America, but for the steroid era pulling it back from the dead. Only to now see its impeding doom as a result of English football taking hold of the next few generations!

        I tried! but your pastime failed…so I think It’s boring, not sure how not wanting today to be board makes me an idiot, but your intriguing debating skills are much appreciated.

    • Fog says:

      As compared to 800 completed passed with 10 shots and no goals scored??? If you prefer soccer…fine…but don’t make comparisons that don’t hold up. Promote soccer…but don’t denigrate another sport to do so.

      • Dust says:

        LoL I didn’t denigrate a sport to promote soccer, I don’t like baseball, perhaps the words i used in the post were to complex, i know you have had trouble in the past…your posts however denigrate many things, and most of what you post is uninformed. But thanks for engaging.

    • CTBlues says:

      It’s better than Cricket. I believe they call it that because that’s all you can hear during a game.

      • Dust says:

        Interesting, have you played cricket? Do you understand cricket? If you do the fine, informed opinion is great, knee jerk insults and branding a sport as garbage without experiencing it isn’t, I have been to countless baseball games, including world series games and IMO it was break after break after break with zero fluidity,

        Any sport you can actually gain weight while playing isn’t really a sport?

        • Fog says:

          Dust, every time you open your mouth you seem to be making PhillySpur’s point…you call baseball stupid…yet you defend cricket. I would venture to say that most in the United States would disagree with you. I happen to enjoy baseball (full disclosure-I worked for a minor league team for 4 years), cricket (I was exposed to it during a six week assignment in Johannesburg, SA) and sumo (learned to appreciate it while working in Tokyo). What does that prove? Absolutely nothing…as they say “to each his own.”

          Perhaps your opinions should be kept to yourself.

          • Dust says:

            What? Haha, as you have clearly stated yourself, I thought it was just big words that made you not read posts? I dont have any in mine, so not sure why you didnt read it, but then still felt the need to comment. Read my post again, then reposcore fermenting what I actuall said, or not…..

        • gbewing says:

          dust is in the windy isn’t h?e- you sir are the England of posting nothing but negative tactics!

  8. tampastick says:

    My 2c worth.
    1. 2.9m for England / Italy was followed by 888,000 for the MLS game that followed it. Both records for ESPN = people like football.(or fell asleep therefore didn’t change the channel)
    2. The Semi finals will be affected as it’s during the week. Final should improve.
    3. ESPN has done an excellent job at marketing EURO2012 as they did the World cup 2010
    The next Two are my pet hate looking forward.
    As Tampa was getting 10 inches of rain on Sunday thanks to Tropical storm Debby, it has to be said that Direct TV sucks in the US as much as SKY does in the UK during storms. Actually my laptop on ESPN3 was 1 second quicker than the TV.
    In the US, most bars have DirectTV. (And by checking their business website), bars are willing to pay $48 per month for ALL the ESPN channels, but not $46 per month for Fox Soccer alone. If Fox don’t get their act together before 2018, it will be a disaster for them.
    Sorry to rant on. carry on.

    • Matt says:

      Tampa, some valid points. But where did you get those price figures for Fox Soccer on DirecTV? Because that definitely isn’t what I pay (or would pay even to add on foxsoccer.tv, but that rant is for another time entirely).

  9. Fog says:

    @Dust…possibly you might consider limiting your posts to prior to cocktail hour.

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