ESPN Nets Record Audience For USA’s World Cup Opener

ESPN was able to put a record soccer audience in its net for its coverage of the United States’ opening match in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The Americans’ 2-1 victory over Ghana – which included two goals in final 10 minutes of play, averaged 11.09 million viewers to stand as the most-watched men’s soccer game in ESPN history.

Only January’s BCS Championship Game (25.57 million) drew more viewers to ESPN in 2014. The match also resulted in record local ratings in 16 different markets, including New York, Boston and Washington, D.C.

The 11.09 million was also only down 14% from the nearly 13 million that watched the Americans' opening match against England in 2010, which aired on broadcaster ABC on a Saturday afternoon. Team USA’s next match is set for Sunday against Portugal at 6 p.m. on ESPN.

To date, the 2014 World Cup is tracking 23% above 2010 with an average of 4.1 million viewers across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC.

Spanish-language broadcaster Univision garnered 4.8 million viewers, its most for a Team USA World Cup match.