The United States’ final match of the 2014 World Cup set a new ratings record on ESPN.
The Belgium/USA FIFA World Cup Round of 16 match earned a 9.6 overnight rating on ESPN Tuesday afternoon, the largest overnight ever for a soccer telecast on ESPN or ESPN2. The previous high was a 9.1 for USA/Portugal earlier in this year’s World Cup, and the high before this year was an 8.6 for the Japan/USA Women’s World Cup final in 2011.
The 9.6 is also the highest ever for a non-football event on ESPN or ESPN2, topping the previous high set by USA/Portugal and Game 7 of the 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
Including matches on ABC, Belgium/USA earned the third-highest overnight ever for a World Cup match on an ESPN network, trailing only two matches from the 1994 World Cup. Tuesday’s match earned a higher overnight than the Ghana/USA Round of 16 match in 2010, which aired on ABC on a weekend afternoon (9.1).
New York was the top market for ESPN’s telecast with a whopping 15.0 rating. Hartford-New Haven (13.2) ranked second, followed by Washington, DC (12.8), Richmond, VA (12.3) and Boston (12.2).
Overnights were not available for Univision’s coverage, but the network earned local ratings of 12.0 in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, 8.4 in Los Angeles, 7.0 in Houston, 5.0 in New York and 4.5 in Dallas-Ft. Worth. (Corrected: post originally listed the local numbers for Univision’s coverage of Argentina/Switzerland.)
(Tue. overnight from ESPN, additional info from Univision)