2010 World Cup Final on ABC: Most-Watched Men’s World Cup Game Ever

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2010 World Cup Final on ABC: Most-Watched Men’s World Cup Game Ever

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Netherlands-Spain Championship Match Earns 8.1 Rating and 15.5 Million Viewers
ESPN Networks Finish 2010 World Cup +31% in Ratings, +41% in Viewers Thru 64 Matches 

Sunday’s 2010 FIFA World Cup Final on ABC – a 1-0 victory by Spain in extra time over the Netherlands – ranks as the most-watched Men’s World Cup game ever among viewers. Based on Fast Nationals from The Nielsen Company, ABC’s telecast delivered an 8.1 household rating, 9,389,000 households, and 15,545,000 viewers for the two-hour game window (2:30-5 p.m. ET). Only the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final (U.S.-China from the Rose Bowl) averaged more viewers for a soccer game (17,975,000).

Among households, the Final is the No. 3 most-watched soccer game of all-time in the U.S., behind the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final (11,307,000) and the 2010 U.S.-Ghana Round of 16 game (9,455,000), which attracted a previous Men’s World Cup record 14,863,000 viewers.

Additionally, the Final ranks as the fourth highest-rated Men’s World Cup game on record, behind the 1994 Italy-Brazil Final (9.5 rating), the 1994 U.S.-Brazil round of 16 match (9.3), and U.S.-Ghana (8.5).  Sunday’s game also ranks behind the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final, which delivered an 11.4 rating. The 8.1 for Netherlands-Spain is a 6% increase from the 2006 Italy-France Final (7.7 rating, excluding pre- and post-game coverage).

The top 10 metered markets for Sunday’s four-hour telecast (including pre- and post-match programming) were: San Francisco (14.7), San Diego (13.6), New York (13.1), Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (12.0), Washington, D.C. (11.9), Los Angeles (11.3), Austin, Texas (10.4), Seattle-Tacoma (10.0), Cincinnati (9.5), and Boston (9.1).

ABC’s coverage of the Uruguay-Germany 3rd Place match on Saturday delivered a 3.1 rating, 3,532,000 households, and 5,045,000 viewers.

“The 2010 FIFA World Cup was an overwhelming success for ESPN,” said John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. “We experienced record viewership across multiple platforms, including television, broadband, online and ESPN Audio, and it was evident from the overwhelmingly positive reaction just how much fans were drawn to the spectacle of this global sports event. We are already looking ahead with great anticipation to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.”

The 2010 World Cup ranks as the most-viewed World Cup ever on English-language TV in the United States. In 64 matches, the ESPN networks (ESPN/ESPN2/ABC) averaged a 2.1 U.S. household rating, 2,288,000 households, and 3,261,000 viewers.  The rating is up 31% from 2006 (1.6), while household impressions are up 32% (from 1,735,000) and viewers are up 41% (from 2,316,000). The top-five markets for ESPN’s coverage of the 2010 World Cup are: Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (3.9), New York (3.6), Washington, D.C. (3.6), San Diego (3.5), and San Francisco (3.5).

Through the semifinals last week (62 matches), an estimated 105 million people tuned into ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2 during the 2010 World Cup, a 17% increase from the 90 million people who tuned into the World Cup on the three networks through the same point in 2006.


World Cup Final Replay

The 2010 FIFA World Cup Final between Netherlands and Spain will re-air tonight, July 12, in its entirety on both World Cup PrimeTime on ESPN2 (8 p.m.) and an hour later on ESPN Classic (9 p.m.). In addition, ESPN3.com will have all 64 matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup available for replay, including the Final, through the end of the year. 


ESPN Inc.’s 2010 FIFA World Cup Coverage in the United States

South Africa 2010 is ESPN’s seventh 2010 FIFA World Cup and coverage of the event is the most comprehensive in company history. ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will air all 64 matches live and in high definition. ESPN3.com, ESPN’s signature broadband network available in more than 50 million homes, will feature live English-language simulcasts of matches on ESPN and ESPN2. ESPN 3D will feature 25 matches.  ESPN Mobile TV will show all matches. ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language all sports network, will air more than 50 matches in Portuguese live in the U.S., and ESPN Radio will broadcast all 64 matches. Additionally, ESPN will present television studio programming from site in South Africa, offering U.S. sports fans the most comprehensive news and information coverage throughout the month-long soccer showcase.


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