World Cup Overnights: Belgium/USA Sets New ESPN Record


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)

  • JakeFrankie

    If I’m not mistaken this is not even the highest rated Futbol match on TV for the USA, Brazil vs USA in 1994 Round of 16 drew a higher rating right?
    Also this World Cup and the growing interest in Futbol is massive, The sport is really becoming popular and not just a lowly thing in the USA. It’s a big sport and it matters to lots of people with all the love and support we have seen. Clearly the World Cup is every 4 years but when you’re destroying NHL Ratings, beating and MLB and NBA rating close to majority of NFL Ratings (Besides Deep in the Playoffs) that shows this isn’t a fluke at all. But Since the 2006 World Cup the sport has been growing and growing very happy what’s going on with it. With the Hispanic population in the USA only growing and growing that will only help the sport, Just look at the Mexican game numbers. MLS Ratings are at a stand still but it takes time for league numbers to grow, But the Sport is in great sport no longer a laughing stack but a Sport where MILLIONS and MILLIONS take Seriously in this country!
    I except the 2014 World Cup Final between whoever will be the HIGHEST Rated Futbol Match in USA History which will be on ABC It really doesn’t matter who’s in the Final.

    • Cha-Ka

      The July 4, 1994 USA vs Brazil Round of 16 had a rating of 10.4 and 13,694,000 people tuned into the match. Keep in mind it was broadcast on the ABC network and being on the 4 July it was a public holiday. As opposed to USA vs Belgium being shown during the middle of a work day and on ESPN.

      I don’t know how many people watched the USA vs Brazil game on Univision On the other hand I just can’t remember there being such huge public gatherings at parks, stadiums and bars to watch the game like there was for USA vs Belgium. (For that matter all the USA matches) Keep in mind those public crowds viewing the match along with countless office employees taking a break to tune in do not count in the ratings.

  • lpakto


    You’re using the wrong logo to categorize the world cup ratings. Here’s the official 2014 fifa world cup logo :

    The one you’re using is from Brazil’s bid candidacy as host nation back in 2007

    • Paulsen

      Can’t bring myself to use that logo. Looks too much like someone doing a facepalm.