World Cup: ESPN, Univision Net 14.2M with U.S.-Germany

ESPN’s coverage of the U.S. men’s national team’s passage from Group G to the Round of 16 netted its third-largest soccer audience and record tallies for WatchESPN.

The June 26 midday telecast of Germany’s 1-0 victory over Sam’s Army – the U.S. emerged from the Group of Death on goal differential over Portugal -- averaged a 6.7 rating and nearly 10.8 million viewers, according to Nielsen data.  The telecast now ranks as the worldwide leader’s most-viewed weekday, non-holiday, afternoon program on record.

For its part, Univision/Univision Deportes Network’s simulcast of the U.S.- Germany match delivered 3.4 million total viewers, including 1.7 million persons 18 to 49.  

Together, U.S.-Germany averaged some 14.2 million English- and Spanish-language viewers yesterday.

ESPN’s telecast peaked in the 1:30 p.m. half hour with a 7.7 rating and 12.1 million watchers.

Meanwhile, for all those who were working or not linearly engaged during the noon to 2 p.m. (ET) match window, WatchESPN , added an additional 1.05 million viewers in the average minute audience to ESPN’s telecast, lifting its viewership by 10% to over 12 million. Overall, the WatchESPN coverage had 3.2 million unique viewers and 143 million live minutes viewed. WatchESPN’s peaked with1.7 million concurrent during the 1:30 p.m. half, setting a platform record.

Univision Digital also broke records with 1.7 million unique viewers for the U.S.-Germany match – making it the biggest live stream event ever for Univision Deportes.

The 6.7 rating for U.S.-Germany trails only the 9.6 mark ESPN recorded with its coverage of the Americans’ draw with Portugal on June 22, as that match set also set a network soccer-audience record with 18.2 million viewers. The June 26 telecast stands third behind the 11.1 million who saw Sam’s Army top Ghana in its opening match of the 2014 World Cup on June 16. That match delivered a 6.3 rating.

Through 48 matches, the sports giant scored its best-ever group stage numbers ever, averaging 3.54 million viewers and 2.2 rating for ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC telecasts combined. The 2014 averages easily surpassed its marks in 2010 and 2006: up 46% and 109% from 2.43 million viewers in 2010 and 1.69 million in 2006, respectively. From a ratings perspective, ESPN’s respective amelioration stood at 38% and 83% from a 1.6 rating in 2010 and a 1.2 in 2006.

During the group stage, Univision Deportes averaged 2.9 million viewers and reached more than 62 million who watched some portion of FIFA’s famed futbol competition.