ESPN Scores Highest Overnight Rating Ever for a FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match

usa mexico poster 600x877 ESPN Scores Highest Overnight Rating Ever for a FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match

ESPN’s coverage of the USA versus Mexico game earned the highest rating for a FIFA World Cup qualifying match on US television.

The live broadcast of the game scored a 1.9 overnight rating, based on the metered markets. The previous high was a 1.6 overnight rating for Mexico against United States on March 26, 2013, which was played at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca.

The 1.9 overnight rating last night is the highest overnight rating for a U.S. men’s national team match in a non-FIFA World Cup or FIFA Confederations Cup tournament.

Read: Watch highlights from the match as well as post-game analysis of USA 2-0 Mexico.

Photo credit: M. Willis.

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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7 Responses to ESPN Scores Highest Overnight Rating Ever for a FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match

  1. Guy says:

    That’s pretty impressive. Some other numbers for comparison:

    College GameDay–1.5
    Alabama v Va. Tech–3.1
    LSU v TCU–1.9
    Ohio State v Buffalo–1.5

    Those are all “season opener” numbers. I don’t know that they prove anything specifically, only that soccer on TV in the U.S. has seemed to reach a critical mass like many other sports. It is a viable entity, if you will. Ratings will be up and down depending on time, day and match-up, but there is a solid national fan base.

    The numbers will never reach NFL levels, but that is irrelevant. What is certain is that we need not have any inferiority complex about the sport we love. It is firmly established in the U.S. psyche and, unlike some, has plenty of room for growth.

    Sunny days for “football” in America. :-)

    • Smokey Bacon says:

      Espn and us soccer got just about everything right last night. It was almost European like. It also shows just how important a strong us national team is to the popularity of the sport over here. MLS would kill for those numbers and the crowd last night.

      • Guy says:

        I agree completely. There is nothing like the USMNT winning to draw a crowd to “My new favorite sport”. And that’s OK. It’s all good.

        As for the much maligned MLS, check these numbers:

        http://mlsattendance.blogspot.com/

        That’s pretty damned good and the folks in Seattle obviously have a problem. ;-)

  2. Ivan says:

    Gaffer: what are ratings on Univision for US/Mexico?

    The combined ESPN/Univision number has to be quite impressive.

  3. eplnfl says:

    I think everyone is agreed that September 10, 2013 marked a new day for Soccer in America. ESPN & the USSF did a wonderful job of bringing the match to the tv audience. I watched a replay of the ESPNFC post game show and seeing the excitement of the broadcast team really made a aging US fan like myself proud. The crew pointed out the genuine feeling American fans have towards their team and how it stands apart from the cynical view of fans from other countries. ( England)

    Everyone now feels that the next step in the growth of the sport here is to translate the excitement to MLS tv numbers. By all accounts ESPN is highly interested in soccer broadcasting and wants a future that has MLS in it.

    On to Brazil GO USA.

  4. Mark Williamson says:

    As a new world football fan I am really excited about the popularity of this sport growing. Yes we have the nay-sayers, some don’t like it-fair enough, others feel a little threatened by the “new” game in town. For the life of me I don’t know why. I DO, however, feel that at some point that the sport that may feel a bit of a hit will be baseball. I only say this because the last 10 years or so I have seen, as well as many other people, have noticed a transition in the summer sport from little league baseball to soccer. Not sure if that will have any bearing at the end, but i do see changes on the horizon.

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