World Cup final breaks USA TV ratings records

World Cup final breaks USA TV ratings records

World Cup 2014

World Cup final breaks USA TV ratings records

Philipp Lahm of Germany celebrate winning the World Cup by lifting the trophy with his team mates

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By RYAN TOLMICH

Mario Goetze’s 113th minute winner may not have broken the record for the latest goal scored in World Cup history, but Germany’s 1-0 triumph over Argentina broke new ground in terms of viewership.

Sunday’s World Cup final was the most watched men’s World Cup Final ever in terms of American viewership, as ABC’s telecast averaged 17.3 million and maxed out at 20.8 million viewers  during the German victory. Meanwhile, Univision’s Spanish broadcast of the event reportedly earned 9.2 million viewers, adding up to a total of 26.5 million between the two networks.

In addition to traditional TV broadcasts, ESPN’s internet-based WatchESPN service registered 1.8 million live unique viewers during the game, while viewers watched an average of 63 minutes of the game.

Sunday’s final was also a part of what became the highest rated World Cup on English-language TV in the United States with an average of 4.6 million viewers for each of the 64 total matches. That’s an increase of 39 percent from the 2010 World Cup and 97 percent from the 2006 World Cup viewership.

While Sunday’s final was the most viewed of its kind for ESPN and ABC, it registered as the third most-viewed soccer game in United States’ history, falling behind the U.S. Men’s National Team’s clash with Portugal in June (18.2 million viewers) as well as the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final (18 million viewers).

ESPN also announced the top 10 markets for all 64 games in the World Cup. Washington, D.C. (4.9) led, followed by New York City (4.6), San Francisco (4.4), Los Angeles (4.0), San Diego (4.0), Hartford-New Haven (3.9), Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (3.8), Orlando (3.8) and (tied) West Palm Beach, Richmond, Baltimore and Boston (3.6).

What do you think of the viewership numbers? What does it say about the sport’s growth in the U.S.?

Share your thoughts below.

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