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World Cup Runs Over for ESPN, Univision

The final vuvuzela has
droned at Soccer City Stadium
in Johannesburg, where Andres
Iniesta’s extra-time goal enabled
Spain to hoist the coveted World
Cup trophy.

But El Rojo, which became the
eighth nation to claim the FIFA
World Cup, wasn’t the only winner
in South Africa, as U.S. rightsholders
ESPN and Univision also
came out on top, on the air and
online, with their coverage of the
month-long tourney.

ESPN and Univision, bolstered
by Spain’s 1-0 win over The Netherlands
in the final — the mostwatched
soccer match ever in the
U.S. — scored their biggest World
Cup audiences ever with the 2010
tourney from South Africa. Indeed,
an estimated 111.6 million
U.S. viewers watched at least six
minutes of the 2010 World Cup
on English- or Spanish-language
networks, according to an analysis
by Nielsen, a 22% increase
from the 91.4 million reach for the
2006 World Cup from Germany.

Together, ABC (15.5 million)
and Univision (8.8 million)
scored with 24.3 million viewers
from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. during
the extra-time championship
match on July 11. That total surpassed
the 19.4 million the networks
combined for on June 26,
when the U.S. was eliminated by
Ghana in a round-of-16 encounter
(ABC averaged 14.9 million; Univision
4.5 million, its most ever
for a World Cup match involving
Sam’s Army).

Univision’s presentation of
Spain-Holland ranks as the thirdlargest
Spanish-language telecast
in U.S. history, behind the
9.41 million for the round-of-16
game between Mexico-Argentina
on June 27 and the finale of telenovela
Destilando Amor (Essence
of Love)
, which drew 9.02 million
on Dec. 3, 2007.

As part of its 8.8 million average,
Univision’s coverage of the
final garnered 5.4 million persons
18 to 49, 3.3 million persons
18 to 34 and almost 4 million persons
12 to 34, making it the mostwatched
World Cup final in the
network’s history. Spain-Holland
outperformed the 2006 title
tilt — Italy’s win over France
on penalty kicks — by 49%, 45%,
53%, and 52% in the aforementioned
groups, respectively.

All told, Univision and TeleFutura
(eight matches) netted the
leading Spanish-language media
company in the U.S. its highest
audience levels ever for any
World Cup, averaging 2.4 million
total viewers, 1.4 million persons
18 to 49, 760,983 people 18 to 34
and 932,920 persons to 12 to 34,
which represented gains of 15%,
6%, 9%, and 7%, respectively, over
the 64-game averages for the 2006

ABC’s telecast of Spain-Netherlands
posted an 8.1 household
rating, 9.39 million households
and 15.5 million watchers, the
second-best soccer marks in this
country among households and
viewers, behind only the 11.3 million
and 17.9 million for the 1999
FIFA Women’s World Cup final
from the Rose Bowl, where the
U.S. topped China on penalties.

The 8.1 national rating — up 6%
from the 2006 final — for the July
11 telecast ranks as the fourth
highest-rated men’s World Cup
game on record, behind the 9.5
for the 1994 final between Italy
and Brazil, 1994’s 9.3 for the
U.S.-Brazil round-of-16 match
(9.3; that tourney was held in the
States), and 8.5 for the 2010 U.S.-
Ghana match. The July 11 title
game also trails the 1999 Women’s
World Cup Final, which delivered
an 11.4 rating.

Overall, the 2010 tourney ranks
as the most-viewed World Cup
ever on English-language TV in
this country. Over 64 matches,
The Walt Disney Co.-owned networks
— averaged a 2.1 U.S national rating,
2.29 million households and
3.26 million viewers. Those performances
grew 31% (from a 1.6),
32% (1.74 million) and 41% (2.32
million) from the tourney in Germany
four years ago.

For its part, ESPN Digital Media, comprising,, ESPN Mobile Web,
ESPN Mobile Apps and ESPN
Mobile TV, garnered nearly
4.9 billion minutes of usage of
World Cup content, according to
offi cials at the sports programmer.
An average of more than
110,000 fans per minute used
ESPN Digital Media to get tourney
information during the 31
days of the tournament.

Matches on broadband service tallied some 7.4 million
unique visitors, generating 942
million minutes of viewing or more
than two hours per each unique
visitor. The Spain-Germany semifinal was viewed by 355,000 people
per minute during the live match,
making it’s largest average
audience ever.

World Cup content on ESPN.
com, including and,
delivered 128 million visits
and 431 million page views from
June 11 through July 11. The site’s
front page, which prominently featured
tournament news, video and
scores, saw 304 million visits and
663 million page views.

ESPN’s mobile-TV offering
reached 1 million unique viewers
during the event, registering
93 million total minutes of viewing,
setting records on MobiTV
and FLO TV.

Additionally, ESPN’s mobile
offerings — ESPN Mobile Web,
ESPN 2010 FIFA World Cup App
and ESPN ScoreCenter App —
counted 98 million visits and
520 million page views of tourney
content. The mobile Web and
apps were accessed for 6.2 million
video views of highlights,
news and analysis. The app itself
was downloaded more than
2.5 million times and averaged 1
million users per day during the

Meantime, Univision Interactive
Media’s coverage of the World
Cup drove record-breaking results,
as its online and mobile offerings
generated 34.7 million visits.

Fans streamed more than 10
million total hours of live video
on On
average, users spent nearly 90
minutes per day viewing World
Cup coverage across more than
265,000 unique media players.

On the mobile side, the Univision
Fútbol App notched over
450,000 downloads following its