Received this press release today and I haven’t been able to post it as I have been taking care of some family commitments. Saturday’s USA-Ghana Round of 16 match in the World Cup received a whopping 8.2 rating (very good for soccer) and almost 15 million viewers. Now that the US has been eliminated, I expect those numbers to go down, but this shows that if the United States is in contention, people will watch soccer. We’ve seen it with the Olympics and I think this will hold true for the World Cup from now on.
Here’s the press release from ESPN.
U.S.-Ghana: Most-Watched FIFA World Cup Game
8.2 Rating, 14.9 Million Viewers for Team USA’s Round of 16 Match
Saturday’s United States-Ghana match on ABC – a 2-1 U.S. loss in extra time, which eliminated the Americans from the tournament – is the most-watched FIFA World Cup game among households and viewers. The 2.5 hour match window (2:30-5:12 p.m. ET) averaged an 8.2 rating, 9,455,000 households, and 14,863,000 viewers, based on fast nationals.
The U.S.-Ghana game ranks as the most-watched Men’s World Cup game ever, with only the 1999 Women’s Final (U.S.-China) averaging more households and viewers for a soccer game (11,307,000 households and 17,975,000 viewers). Additionally, the match ranks as the third highest-rated Men’s World Cup game on record, behind two matches in 1994 – 9.3 rating (U.S.-Brazil, Quarterfinal, 7/4/94) and 9.5 rating (Italy-Brazil, Final, 7/17/94). The 1999 Women’s World Cup Final (U.S.-China) also delivered an 11.4 rating.
The U.S.-Ghana match represents increases of 11% in ratings (vs. 7.4) and 13% in viewership (vs. 13,130,000) from ABC’s highly-anticipated U.S.-England World Cup game on June 12, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
The entire three-hour telecast (2-5:12 p.m.) — including 30 minutes of pre-match coverage – delivered a 7.5 household rating, 8,649,000 households, and 13,505,000 viewers.
San Diego was the top market for yesterday’s Team USA game, delivering a 15.4 rating. San Diego was the top market for all three previous U.S. matches – vs. England (11.5, ABC), vs. Slovenia (8.5, ESPN) and vs. Algeria (8.9, ESPN). Rounding out the top 10 for Saturday’s match were Washington, D.C. (13.8), San Francisco (13.3), Cincinnati (12.9), Las Vegas (11.7), Austin (11.4), Columbus, Ohio (10.6), Norfolk, Va. (10.6), Seattle-Tacoma (10.6) and West Palm Beach (10.5).
Also, ESPN’s Uruguay-South Korea Round of 16 match on Saturday morning delivered a 2.5 coverage rating (2.2 U.S. rating), 2,513,000 households, and 3,246,000 viewers.
Through 50 games of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the ESPN networks (ESPN/ESPN2/ABC) are averaging a 1.8 U.S. rating, 2,081,000 households, and 2,781,000 viewers. The rating is up 48% from 2006 (1.2), while household impressions are up 54% (from 1,349,000) and viewers are up 60% (from 1,740,000). (Note: Ratings and viewership numbers are based on the specific match windows, not including pre-match studio coverage.)
The 2010 FIFA World Cup continues with Round of 16 elimination matches through Tuesday, June 29, followed by quarterfinal games starting Friday, July 2, on ESPN and ABC. Coverage is also available on ESPN3.com, ESPN Radio, ESPN 3D, ESPN Mobile TV and ESPN Deportes.
I have a couple of more releases to post.