FIFA World Cup Rating Through Semifinals: Up 36%

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FIFA World Cup Rating Through Semifinals: Up 36%

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July 9, 2010

Netherlands-Spain in Championship Sunday on ABC; Digital Platforms Setting Records

After 62 of the 64 games of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, ESPN networks (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2) have averaged a 1.9 U.S. rating, up 36% from 1.4 through the same point – the semifinals – in 2006.  The average household audience is up 41% (from 1,575,000 to 2,227,000) and the viewer audience (P2+) is up 45% (from 2,057,000 to 2,984,000).

The key male demos – ages 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 – are up 27%, 46% and 50%, respectively.  The top-rated markets through 62 games:  Miami (3.8), New York and Washington, D.C. (3.4), San Diego (3.3) and San Francisco (3.2). 

The 2010 event is also outpacing 1994, when the World Cup was held in the U.S., to be the most-watched FIFA World Cup in U.S. television history.  Through the quarterfinals, this year’s competition averaged 2,198,000 homes, up 32% from 1,664,000 16 years ago (based on a 1.9 rating this year and 1.8 in 1994.).

The Final Weekend

The quadrennial tournament – the largest global sporting in the world – will climax this weekend with the third-place game and the final, both broadcast on ABC and ABC HD and available live on ESPN 3D, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Mobile TV, as well as on demand later on  

  •  On Saturday, July, 10, Germany and Uruguay will play the third-place game at 2 p.m. ET. Ian Darke and John Harkes will call the match from Port Elizabeth.
  • On Sunday, July 11, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final will start at 1:30 p.m. with a one-hour preview followed by the Netherlands vs. Spain from Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. Martin Tyler and Efan Ekoku will call the match, which will crown a first-ever World Cup champion.  ESPN’s roster of studio analysts will include former Dutch National Team player Ruud Gullit, Spaniard and manager of Premier League club Wigan Athletic Roberto Martinez, Steve McManaman and Alexi Lalas. John Harkes will join Bob Ley at Soccer City for pre-, halftime and postmatch analysis. 
  • ESPN Radio will broadcast both games, with Glenn Davis and Kyle Martino calling the third-place game while JP Dellacamera and Smyth provide play-by-play and analysis on the final.


Date Time (ET) Event Network
Sat, Jul 10 2 p.m. FIFA World Cup PrematchChris Fowler, Alexi Lalas & Steve McManaman ABC
  2:30 p.m. FIFA World Cup Third-Place Match (Port Elizabeth): Uruguay vs. GermanyIan Darke & John Harkes

Glenn Davis & Kyle Martino


ESPN Radio

  4:30-5 p.m. World Cup LiveFowler, Lalas & McManaman ABC
  7-10 p.m. World Cup PrimeTimeBob Ley, Fowler, Lalas, McManaman, Ruud Gullit, & Roberto Martinez ESPN2 /
 Sun, Jul 11  1:30 p.m.  FIFA World Cup PrematchFowler, Ruud Gullit, Lalas & McManaman  ABC
  2:30 p.m. FIFA World Cup Final (Johannesburg): Netherlands vs. SpainMartin Tyler & Efan Ekoku

JP Dellacamera & Tommy Smyth


ESPN Radio

  5-5:30 p.m. World Cup LiveFowler, Gullit, Lalas & McManaman ESPN /
  9-11:30 p.m. World Cup PrimeTimeFowler, Gullit, Lalas & McManaman ESPN2 /

ESPN Digital Media

ESPN Digital Media – which includes,, ESPN Mobile Web, ESPN Mobile Apps and ESPN Mobile TV – has seen more than 4.4 billion minutes of usage to World Cup content over the 28 days of the tournament to date, according to Omniture.  On average, 110,000 persons per minute have been using ESPN Digital Media platforms to consume World Cup content across every day during the tournament. posted its most-viewed live event ever with the Spain-Germany semifinal, an average audience of 355,000 during the live game window (topping the 328,000 for U.S. – Algeria on June 23).  World Cup matches on have been viewed by 6.9 million unique viewers, generating 14.7 million hours of viewing (over two hours per viewer) through July 6.’s World Cup content (including ESPN Soccernet and ESPN Deportes/copa-mundial) garnered 122 million visits and 414 million page views from June 11-July 8.  Additionally:

  • Users have spent an average of just under 10 minutes per visit engaging with World Cup content.
  •’s front page, which prominently features World Cup news, video and scores, has seen 275 million visits and 604 million page views for June 11-July 8.

ESPN Mobile (including the ESPN mobile Web, ESPN 2010 FIFA World Cup App and ESPN ScoreCenter App) generated 94 million visits and 499 million page views to World Cup content through July 8.  The ESPN World Cup App has also been downloaded nearly 2.5 million times and has averaged over 1.1 million unique devices accessing the app per day across the tournament.

World Cup Conference Call Replay

In advance of this weekend’s FIFA World Cup final, commentators Martin Tyler and Efan Ekoku, ESPN’s Jed Drake, executive producer, and Scott Guglielmino, senior vice president, programming, participated in a media conference call Thursday morning. A full replay of the call is available here.

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., 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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