ESPN is really pumping the Women’s World Cup so I’ll oblige and post three different press releases into one post. Let’s check out what ESPN is saying.
First, the USA-France semifinal game which propelled the Americans into the final received a 2.2 rating, just below Sunday’s USA-Brazil contest which got a 2.3 rating. With the final against Japan being on Sunday, I would think that rating would go up. Here’s the ESPN press release.
Fourth Most-Viewed FIFA Women’s World Cup Match Ever
U.S. Ratings for 30 Matches on ESPN Networks up 200% vs. 2007
The FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinal match between the U.S. Women’s National Team and France – a 3-1 U.S. victory in Moenchengladbach, Germany, on Wednesday, July 13 – was seen by an average of 3.35 million people according to the Nielsen Company, based on a 2.2 U.S. household rating on ESPN (2.57 million household impressions), making it the most-viewed weekday Women’s World Cup match in the U.S.
The match also ranked as the fourth most-viewed FIFA Women’s World Cup match ever and the second match from Germany 2011 to rank among the top five Women’s World Cup matches. The other three are from 1999 when the tournament was held in the U.S.
Top-five most-viewed FIFA Women’s World Cup matches:
Date Match Network U.S. HH RTG/HH IMPS/P2+ Saturday, July 10, 1999 USA vs. China – Title Match ABC 11.4/11,307,000/17,975,000 Sunday, July 4, 1999 Brazil vs. USA – Semifinal ESPN 2.9/2,879,000/4,924,000 Sunday, July 10, 2011 Brazil vs. USA – Quarterfinal ESPN 2.3/2,704,000/3,890,000 Wednesday, July 13, 2011 USA vs. France – Semifinal ESPN 2.2/2,567,000/3,354,000 Thursday, July 1, 1999 USA vs. Germany – Quarterfinal ESPN 1.7/1,667,000/2,627,000
Baltimore was the top market for yesterday’s U.S. match, delivering a 4.6 rating. Rounding out the top five were: Cincinnati (4.4), Las Vegas (4.4), San Diego (4.1), and Washington, D.C. (3.9).
Through Wednesday, July 13 (30 matches), Women’s World Cup 2011 is averaging a 0.6 U.S. rating on ESPN and ESPN2 – up 200% from 2007 (0.2) in China. Household impressions are up 164% (from 272,000 to 718,000) and P2+ impressions are up 218% (from 294,000 to 934,000).
Through 30 matches, the top five local markets for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup are Baltimore (1.2), Cincinnati, (1.2), Washington, D.C. (1.1), San Diego (1.1), and Greensboro, N.C. (1.1).
The USA’s semifinal win over France delivered over 450,000 unique viewers on ESPN3.com, the second most viewed non-2010 FIFA World Cup event behind on the 2011 BCS National Championship Game, and the most ever for a women’s sporting event on the network (source: Adobe Omniture). The semifinals on Wednesday combined to deliver over half a million unique viewers on ESPN3.com.
Across ESPN3.com, ESPNnetworks.com and the WatchESPN app, the game logged a total of 25 million minutes consumed, ranking third overall for non-2010 FIFA World Cup events. Additionally, Gamecast for both semifinal matches generated 681,000 visits on ESPN.com and 478,000 visits on ESPN Mobile.
FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals on Sunday
The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany continues on ESPN and ESPN3.com with Sweden vs. France in the third place match on Saturday, July 16, at 11 a.m. ET, in Sinsheim.
The title match on Sunday will feature No.1-ranked USA vs. Japan in Frankfurt beginning at 2 p.m. on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN3.com, ESPN Radio, ESPN3.com, as well as extensive coverage on ESPN’s digital media platforms, including ESPNnetworks.com, the WatchESPN App, and ESPN Mobile TV. Highlights:
Date Time (ET) Network Match Site Sat., July 16 11 a.m. ESPN2/ESPN3.com Sweden vs. France
Adrian Healey and Kate Markgraf
Sinsheim Sun., July 17 2 p.m. ESPN/ESPN3.com/ESPN Radio Japan vs. USA
Ian Darke and Julie Foudy
After the break, you’ll see two more ESPN Women’s World Cup press releases.
This next press release talks about ESPN Radio having the call of the Final. Kevin Winter will be the pregame, halftime and postgame host. Tommy Smyth who did the analysis for last year’s Men’s World Cup on ESPN Radio will play the same role on Sunday. No word on who will call the game for ESPN Radio with Smyth. Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m.
ESPN Radio will present exclusive, live national coverage of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final between the USA and Japan on Sunday, July 17. Coverage of the game, played in Frankfurt, Germany, will begin at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Sunday’s game will mark the first time ESPN Radio has broadcast a FIFA Women’s World Cup game. The network presented live coverage of all 64 games of the 2010 FIFA Men’s World Cup from South Africa.
“In our ongoing effort to ‘Serve the Fan,’ we are adding the Women’s World Cup Final to our Sunday line up,” said Traug Keller, ESPN Senior Vice President, Production, Business Divisions. “Now, ESPN listeners, wherever they are, can cheer for the U.S. Women’s National Team on ESPN stations across the country, streaming on ESPNRadio.com and the ESPN Radio mobile application and on Sirius/XM channel 84.”
Tommy Smyth, who contributed to ESPN Radio’s 2010 World Cup coverage, will serve as analyst for Sunday’s action. Smyth, who joined ESPN in February 1993 and has called more than 2,500 international matches from leagues all over the world for ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN International, served as a game and studio analyst during ESPN’s UEFA European Football Championship 2008 (Euro 08) coverage, and has worked four FIFA World Cups (1998, 2002, ’06 and ‘10).
ESPN Radio’s halftime, pre- and post-game coverage Sunday, hosted by Kevin Winter, will feature news, analysis and interviews from the championship of what is recognized as the world’s largest single-sport team event for women.
Contested every four years, this is the sixth FIFA Women’s World Cup competition. The inaugural competition debuted in China (1991), 61 years after the first men’s (FIFA World Cup) tournament in 1930. The United States and defending champion Germany are two-time winners of the championship. Norway has one title.
And to top it all off, we have highlights of an ESPN conference call involving Ian Darke, Julie Foudy and Brandi Chastain discussing Sunday’s USA-Japan final.
With Commentators Ian Darke, Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain and Executive Producer Jed Drake
Earlier today, ESPN conducted a media conference call with play-by-play commentator Ian Darke, lead match analyst and espnW.com contributor Julie Foudy, studio analyst Brandi Chastain, and ESPN senior vice president and executive producer Jed Drake.
During the call, the commentators and Drake previewed the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup title match – Japan vs. USA – on Sunday, July 17, beginning at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN3.com, ESPN Radio, as well as extensive coverage on ESPN’s digital media platforms, including ESPNnetworks.com, the WatchESPN App, and ESPN Mobile TV. Highlights:
Drake, on production philosophy going into the Finals: “I’d rather have us focus precisely on what we’re doing and have been doing. It’s a formula that has worked quite well. It was a very expansive formula. But we’re in a very good groove and we’re very happy where we are.”
Foudy, on balancing her role as match analyst with her history as former captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team:
“It’s a fine balance. Obviously, internally, I want that team to do well. A lot of those players I played with. At the same time, I have to call the game as objectively as I can and kind of step out of that.”
Chastain, on keys to U.S. team’s matchup vs. Japan: “One aspect of the game that will be perhaps very difficult for the U.S. is the composure and the confidence on Japan’s possession game. They are incredibly comfortable on the ball. Ian and I were just talking about it in the hallway of the hotel. They’re the closest thing we have to a Barcelona. They love the little passes. They love the combination play. And the fans love it.
“In that regard, the U.S. has to stay compact. They have to have good team defending. They have to not be frustrated by not having the ball. I think that will be a tall order if Japan plays the way they played against Sweden last night.”
Darke, on how formidable Japan will be vs. USA: “I think, too, everybody has to respect Japan. USA beat Japan twice in prep games before this tournament by two goals to zero. It could have been more in both of those games. I think Japan has moved on a couple levels since that. Against Germany, an element they added to their game which they didn’t have before, they were able to match Germany’s physicality, repel all their attacks, win that game and shock everybody at this World Cup.
“Then they’ve done it to another European team against Sweden. They won the game easily. They’re full of confidence. Before that game, as well, this is the Germany game, the coach showed them slides of the devastation of the earthquake and tsunami that they were representing their currently beleaguered nation. This is a side with a sense of destiny, who are really playing well. I think they’re the best footballing side in this tournament.”
That will do it for this very long post.