Ratings Roundup: ESPN Wins Big with Women’s World Cup Finals

Despite the United State’s crushing loss to Japan, ESPN won big in Sunday’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals.  According to the network, the broadcast was ESPN’s most-viewed and highest-rated soccer match ever, netting an average 13.458 million viewers, based on a 7.4 U.S. household rating (8.58 million households). The USA-Japan thriller surpasses the records set by the USA-Algeria men’s match during last summer’s FIFA World Cup, which had attracted 6.16 million viewers, based on a 4.0 household U.S. rating (4.58 million households). Sunday’s match also ranks as the sixth most-viewed soccer telecast ever in the United States, the sixth most-watched cable telecast of the year, and the second most-watched daytime telecast in cable history behind the Rose Bowl on ESPN (20.557 million viewers on Jan. 1, 2011)…

…Meanwhile, the British Open’s second year on cable has ratings plummeting to an all-time low. According to USA Today, Sunday’s final round of the 2011 Open Championship earned a 2.6 overnight rating on ESPN, tying last year’s final round as the lowest rated in the history of the event. Compared to the 2009 final round on ABC, this year’s overnight declined by a third.
From 1997 to 2007, final round coverage of the British Open drew at least 4% of U.S. metered market homes each year. Even in 2008 and 2009, the event still managed to earn at least a 3.5. The quest for the Claret Jug continues to draw significantly lower numbers than the other golf majors. Final round coverage of The Masters earned a 10.4 overnight on CBS, and the final round of the U.S. Open scored a 5.1 for NBC…

…TNT has reported overall growth in total viewers, ratings, and households following the recent conclusion of its six-race NASCAR Summer Series coverage of the 2011 Sprint Cup Series. Coverage drew 5,125,000 total viewers (up +3%, 4,990,000 in 2010), 3.1 U.S. HH rating (up +3% vs. 3.0 U.S. HH rating in 2010), and 3,615,000 households (up +3%, 3,495,000 in 2010).