ESPN's two FIFA World Cup Round of 16 telecasts on Sunday, June 29, set a record as the highest-rated men's World Cup matches, in any round not involving a United States team, on ESPN or ESPN2 ever. The Netherlands victory over Mexico holds the top spot, averaging a 4.0 US HH rating and 6,571,000 viewers, followed by a 3.9 US HH rating and 6,388,000 viewers for Costa Rica's shoot-out defeat over Greece.
ABC also posted large audiences for its weekend telecasts. ABC's coverage of Brazil beating Chile on Saturday, June 29, ranks as the third highest-rated non-USA men's World Cup Round of 16 match on ESPN or ABC with a 3.8 US HH rating and 6,142,000 viewers. ABC's other game on Saturday - Colombia vs. Uruguay - also garnered a large audience, averaging a 3.3 US HH rating and 5,362,000 viewers.
Including the two Sunday telecasts, the top-five most-viewed men's World Cup matches on ESPN or ESPN2 ever have come during the 2014 event. The top three all involved the United States: vs. Portugal (18,220,000 viewers), vs. Ghana (11,093,000) and vs. Germany (10,771,000).
ESPN Continues to Generate Significant Television Viewership Increases Over 2010 and 2006
Overall, ESPN's 2014 World Cup coverage is posting significant viewership increases over 2010 and 2006. ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC have combined to average a 2.3 US HH rating and 3,788,000 viewers through the 52 matches, marking increases of 21 percent and 92 percent (vs. 1.9 rating in 2010 and 1.2 in 2006) and 32 percent and 108 percent (vs. 2,873,000 viewers in 2010 and 1,825,000 in 2006), respectively.
In addition, ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC continue to generate significant audience increases in every key people and male demographic, highlighted by double-digit growth in the 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 categories.
Top 10 Overall Metered Markets
To date, the highest-rated markets on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC: Washington DC (4.3), New York (3.9), San Francisco (3.8), Los Angeles (3.4), Orlando (3.3), San Diego (3.3), Miami/Fort Lauderdale (3.2), Hartford/New Haven (3.2), West Palm Beach (3.1) and Richmond (3.1).
Round of 16 Continues
ESPN's coverage of the FIFA World Cup continues with a pair of Round of 16 matches Monday on ESPN: France vs. Nigeria (11:30 a.m. ET) and Germany vs. Algeria (3:30 p.m.). The much-anticipated Belgium vs. USA match is Tuesday, July 1, at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN, ESPN3, WatchESPN, and ESPN Radio.