More than 12 million people watched the World Cup semifinal between Brazil and Germany on Tuesday, proving that Americans are continuing to watch the tournament in record numbers.
An average of 6.6 million people watched Brazil-Germany on ESPN, while 5.8 million watched the game on Univision Deportes, for a combined total of 12.4 million.
For ESPN, the game was the highest rated and most watched FIFA World Cup semifinal match on US television, as well as the highest rated non-US World Cup match ever on ESPN or ESPN2.
ESPN’s television coverage peaked in the final half hour of the match (5:30–6 p.m. ET) with a 4.6 rating and 7.5 million viewers.
The previous best World Cup semifinal was a 3.4 rating (5,850,000 viewers) for Germany-Italy on ESPN during World Cup 2006 in Germany. Yesterday’s match also represents increases of 56 percent (2.7 rating) and 58 percent (4,204,000 viewers) over the comparable Uruguay-Netherlands semifinal four years ago in South Africa.
Excluding U.S. team matches, Brazil-Germany is the highest-rated World Cup match ever on ESPN/ESPN2, surpassing the 4.0 rating for Mexico-Netherlands (6,571,000 viewers) from the Round of 16 (June 29).
Top 10 markets for Brazil-Germany, according to ESPN/Nielsen were:
1. New York (7.5),
2. Hartford/New Haven (6.4),
3. Washington, DC (5.8),
4. San Francisco (5.8),
5. Miami/Ft. Lauderdale (5.6),
6. Boston (5.5),
7. West Palm Beach (5.5),
8. Los Angeles (5.0),
9. Baltimore (4.9) and
10. Richmond/Petersburg (4.8)
To date, the highest-rated markets on the ESPN networks are:
1. Washington, DC (4.6),
2. New York (4.3),
3. San Francisco (4.1),
4. Los Angeles (3.7),
5. San Diego (3.7),
6. Hartford/New Haven (3.6),
7. Orlando (3.5),
8. Miami/Ft. Lauderdale (3.5),
9. Richmond/Petersburg (3.4) and
10. West Palm Beach (3.3)
Through 61 matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC are averaging 4,233,000 viewers and a 2.6 US household rating per match. The 2014 audience marks increases of 43 percent (vs. 2,967,000 in 2010) and 107 percent (2,042,000 in 2006) in viewers, and 37 percent (vs. 1.9 in 2010) and 86 percent (1.4 in 2006) in ratings. (Note: Ratings and viewership numbers are based on the specific match windows, not including pre-match studio coverage.)
Online, 2.1 million unique viewers watched the Brazil vs. Germany semifinal on WatchESPN for a total of nearly 90 million minutes, the highest numbers ever for a non-U.S. team soccer match, providing a 10 percent lift to ESPN’s English-language television viewership.