Listen to the World Soccer Talk Podcast review of the Premier League weekend (gameweek 17) »

MON, 12PM ET
JUV5
NAP6
MON, 3PM ET
STO0
CHE1
FRI, 7:45AM ET
CHE
WHU
FRI, 10AM ET
MUFC
NUFC
FRI, 10AM ET
BUR
LIV
FRI, 10AM ET
WBA
MCFC

USA-Portugal World Cup Game is Most-Watched Soccer Game In History Of US Television

world cup espn 650 430 USA Portugal World Cup Game is Most Watched Soccer Game In History Of US Television

Sunday’s live telecast of the World Cup game between the United States and Portugal on ESPN has broken the record for the most-watched soccer game in the history of US television.

ESPN’s broadcast of USA-Portugal was viewed by 18.22 million people, which beat the previous record of 17.97 million who watched the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final. The ’99 final where the US women won the Women’s World Cup was televised on ABC, which makes Sunday night’s number even more impressive.

ESPN’s broadcast of USA-Portugal was the highest overnight rating for a World Cup match on ESPN or ESPN2. To put that into context, the 9.1 overnight rating was greater than the 2012 Rose Bowl (9.0) and the 2013 college football game between Alabama and A&M University.

The match was also shown on Univision, which had 6.5 million viewers. That means that the total viewing audience for USA-Portugal on US television was 24.7 million, which is a landmark achievement for the sport of soccer in the United States.

On WatchESPN.com, meanwhile, ESPN had a high of 1.373 million viewers.

For the ESPN numbers, the top markets for USA-Portugal based on overnight ratings were:

Miami 7.9,
Los Angeles 5.9,
Houston 5.1,
San Francisco 3.3,
New York City 3.0, and
Dallas 3.0.

Over on Univision, 6.5 million people watched USA-Portugal, which goes on record as the most-viewed USA match in FIFA World Cup history for the Spanish-language network. Univision Deportes launched 24/7 coverage of the World Cup in June with the most coverage the United States has ever seen.

The next game for the USA will be against Germany on Thursday in a do-or-die match. Kickoff time is Noon ET, and the match will be shown live on ESPN and Univision.

Congratulations are in order to ESPN and Univision for achieving these incredible numbers. It took 15 years to beat the previous number. Imagine if the USA-Portugal had been shown on ABC instead.

H/T John Ourand.


This entry was posted in ESPN, Univision, US, US National Team, World Cup, World Cup 2014. Bookmark the permalink.

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 →