Guest Blog: Copa América Centenario Scores for Univision Deportes

During a captivating final match, millions of soccer fans tuned in to Univision Deportes to watch as Chile defeated Argentina for the title of Champion of the Americas at the Copa América Centenario final match.

Univision Deportes held the official Spanish-language rights to the Copa América Centenario tournament, played for the first time in the U.S. for its 100th year anniversary.

The tournament did well for the network, beating the 2014 FIFA World Cup viewership among total viewers 2+ and adults 18-49. This underscores the growing interest in soccer in the U.S. and reinforces the net’s place as the home of soccer 365 days a year.

As fanaticos watched their favorite soccer superstars and listened to the all-star sportscasters, the Copa América tournament reached 47.7 million total viewers 2+ and averaged 2.9 million total viewers 2+ and 1.6 million adults 18-49 per match.

Copa América Centenario outperformed the 2014 FIFA World Cup viewership by 9,000 total viewers 2+ and 64,000 adults 18-49 and outperformed the 2015 Gold Cup by 53% among total viewers 2+ and 44% among adults 18-49.

The final match between Chile and Argentina was the best performing Copa América final match in the tournament’s history on any network, regardless of language. The final also outperformed all NHL matches, regular season or playoffs, during the 2015-16 season, and all MLB matches across all networks for the current 2016 season-to-date.

These numbers reflect the enthusiasm that Univision Deportes viewers have for the sport and the growth trajectory for soccer over the past several years alone. We can only expect the sport to grow even more.

The network invested in high-quality digital and mobile content across all of our platforms, providing our fans the best viewing experience possible. Some of the enhancements included alternative audio options for matches, allowing fans to tune in to their home country’s commentators while watching the match.  Also incorporated was a multi-camera digital experience that allowed fans who streamed a match to view the plays from 360 degree vantage points.

Across and the UDN app, there were 2.3 million total livestreams throughout the tournament accounting for 54 million minutes of viewed content with 89% of Copa América Centenario streaming occurring on mobile devices.

Throughout the tournament, Copa América Centenario was the second most social program across all English and Spanish broadcast and cable networks, ahead of everything except the 2016 NBA Finals. Additionally, through the last week of the tournament, Copa América Centenario was the No. 1 most social program across all English and Spanish broadcast and cable networks, outperforming everything including the 2016 NBA draft. The level of audience engagement on Twitter beat the Stanley Cup Final, the X Games, and MLB regular season.

Advertisers across key categories also bet on soccer. In fact, fifteen brands across various industries—telecom, internet, automotive, beverages, etc.—developed and aired custom creative content for the Copa América Centenario tournament.

Tournament sponsors Coca-Cola, State Farm, and Sprint, among others, launched soccer-specific advertisements tailored to the Copa América audience. The network continued to engage fans through a partnership with Lexus to deliver comprehensive soccer analyses—rankings, editorial content, video content—via desktop and mobile.

Univision Deportes, along with Fox Sports, teamed up with Twitter in its largest video distribution and ad deal to date to deliver real-time tournament highlights with ads from major brands. The commercial successes of the tournament show that companies are spending time and money on advertising to soccer fans as they aim to reach a unique and growing consumer demographic.

Back in November, I wrote about the six reasons why Copa América Centenario will be the biggest sporting event of 2016. From the beginning of the tournament with the first three-network simulcast in the history of Spanish language television, through a multitude of powerful ad deals, to the final match, my claim holds up.

Beyond Copa América Centenario, the popularity of soccer will only continue to grow right here in the U.S. Looking ahead to the upcoming seasons of Liga MX and the rest of the MLS season, Univision Deportes continues to be laser-focused on providing the best-in-class soccer content that our fans have come to expect from us.