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A Winning World Cup For Univision, ESPN

Mexico-Netherlands Match Is Now Most-Viewed Spanish Telecast in U.S. History

El Tri have trumped the final episode of one of the most popular telenovelas in U.S. Spanish-language TV history.

According to Nielsen data provided by Univision, the network’s presentation of the June 29 match featuring Mexico vs. The Netherlands delivered a bigger average audience than any other program to ever air in Spanish in the U.S.

Specifically, the match averaged 10.4 million total viewers and 5.8 million adults aged 18-49; Univision combined viewing of the match on its Univision broadcast network with that of its Univision Deportes pay TV network.

The feat outdelivered by 2% the total viewers for the last Univision broadcast of Destilando Amor, a hugely successful 2007 telenovela starring Angélica Rivera and Eduardo Yáñez.

Additionally, Univision’s coverage of the Mexico-Netherlands match drew 57% more total viewers on average (6.6 million) and 68% more adults aged 18-49 (3.5 million) than ESPN, which aired the game in English.

Univision also scored online: The Netherlands vs. Mexico match was the most watched Univision Digital live stream on June 29, accessed some 2 million times. More than 1 million unique visitors streamed the match, with an average of 303,000 visitors recorded per minute.

While Mexico is an obvious top draw for Univision, the network also benefited from exceptionally strong ratings for its second match on June 29, Costa Rica’s win over Greece. According to Nielsen, Univision’s Miami station, WLTV, saw bigger ratings among adults aged 25-54 for this match than any previous 2014 FIFA World Cup telecast.

In Miami, Brazil's matches were a strong draw, with viewing among 25-to-54-year-olds paced by Univision's Spanish-language coverage, followed by ESPN's English-language telecast. Portuguese-language play-by-play on ESPN Deportes also appeared in the Nielsens, but only for matches featuring Brazil.

Some of WLTV’s strongest ratings up to June 29 featured the U.S. men’s national team — a sign that Latinos across the region were in support of Sam’s Army, in addition to non-Spanish speakers who sought the excitement of Univision announcers despite their lack of Spanish fluency. Univision’s Twitter feed has been full of comments from non-Hispanics across the U.S. who have stated their preference for the network’s coverage, even though they can’t understand what’s being said.

At deadline for this newsletter, final Nielsen data for the July 13 championship match featuring Argentina vs. Germany was not yet available.